Sonya Gluck

Hyde Park, VT

Sonya received the Flyin Ryan scholarship in 2013, which contributed to her fundraising efforts to attend the Kroka Expeditions Ecuador Semester. The program is based around community, sustainability and adventure sports, including biking expeditions in New Hampshire and the Andes in Ecuador, a rafting trip to visit Shiwacotcha, a remote indigenous village, and a mountaineering expedition to high peaks in the Andes such as Cotopaxi and Antisana. This experience  deepened Sonya’s commitment to local food, permaculture, sustainability and adventure, providing her with fundamental skills in outdoor living. She returned to Vermont for the second half of her senior year in high school, but having finished all her requirements, decided to bike across the United States rather than stay in school. She flew to Oakland CA and biked down the coast before heading east through AZ, NM, TX, LA, MS, and TN where she spent a week volunteering at a Peace Pagoda before taking a train from Charlotte NC to New Haven CT. The train ride was unplanned, but allowed Sonya to recover from an injury before biking the last stretch home and arriving in Hyde Park just in time to finish her speech and graduate with her class at Lamoille Union High School. Sonya attended the University of Vermont in the fall, where she pursued a degree in Natural Resources in the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources.
Throughout her college career, Sonya was involved in Vermont Students Towards Environmental Protection and the Black Student Union. She also served as an RA and Writing Tutor and had the opportunity to engage in several research internships, including the Ala Archa Ecological Leadership Project. Based in Kyrgyzstan, the twelve day backpacking and leadership program was unique in Central Asia and provided opportunities to Kyrgyz college students to explore their national park and strengthen their leadership skills. Serving as an Assistant Instructor helped Sonya develop valuable skills in program management, cross cultural competency, and leadership. In June 2017, she put those skills to work by creating Water Wanderings, a five day canoe camping trip for young people focused on community building and sustainability. In the wake of a successful and meaningful inaugural program, Sonya plans to continue and expand Water Wanderings in the coming years.
She looks forward to dedicating her life to the pursuit of environmental justice, particularly at the intersection of racism and environmental exploitation. Her senior thesis project will assess the racial climate in the Rubenstein School through focus groups in an effort to give voice to students’ perspectives of the ways that racism influences the school and identify avenues for improving the climate moving forward.

To read more about Sonya’s bike trip and the Kroka Semester, you can follow her blog and can also find her on Facebook and Instagram!

Read Sonya’s Application Essay here!

My Core Values

  1. Listen deeply
  2. Love with and open heart
  3. Celebrate diversity in all things
  4. Never allow half truths to justify giving up
  5. Fight for justice, peace and the dignity of all peoples
  6. Acknowledge my blind spots and hypocrisies
  7. Stay in tune with my body and my surroundings
  8. Live life with passion and humility
  9. Lean into multiplicity and discord
  10. Be resilient

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King st. Group

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