PORTSMOUTH ABBEY STUDENT ADVOCATES FOR ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE AT U.S. CAPITOL

Enyu (Alaina) Zhang '25 recently took her passion for environmental advocacy to the nation’s capital as a member of the U.S. Youth Advisory Council for the United Nations Ocean Decade, a youth-led ocean advocacy group promoting environmental justice for an equitable future for all.

As part of her involvement with the organization’s policy working group, Zhang traveled to Washington D.C. in March to participate in advocacy activities. During her visit, Zhang and her team had the opportunity to engage with over 20 congressional staffers representing both Rhode Island Senators and Representatives. The highlight of the experience was an in-person meeting with Rhode Island District 2 Representative Seth Magaziner.

Reflecting on her experience, Zhang said, “Regardless of their political affiliations, policymakers attentively listened to our concerns and aspirations. As a constituent of District 2, meeting Rep. Magaziner, a genuine listener and leader, was a moment of honor and respect.”

Zhang continued, “Exploring various congressional offices was enlightening, especially witnessing the diversity among their staff – a testament to the increasing representation of women, people of color and youth advocacy groups. This diverse workforce signals progress in Congress, offering hope and empowerment to immigrants and minorities across America.”

Additionally, Zhang distinguished herself as one of five Portsmouth Abbey School students selected to attend the 2024 Rhode Island Science and Engineering Fair. For the fifth consecutive year, Portsmouth Abbey School earned the “Best in Fair” honors, evidencing the Aquidneck Island institution’s commitment to excellence in scientific inquiry and innovation. Zhang’s participation underscores her multifaceted dedication to academic excellence and civic engagement.