“I feel like if I major in chemical engineering, I can use those skills to possibly find out different ways to help people,” says Ethan Gallant, who is deeply interested in sustainability issues. “Clean water is important and degrading plastic is important, and things like that are all based around chemicals.”

Ethan’s interest in sustainability led him to join the Go Green Club, and later to become its president. The club has done multiple trash clean-ups in the community around campus, and have had the opportunity to attend local sustainability conferences. Ethan, along with another club member, worked closely with the college’s sustainability manager to bring an apiary, or collection of beehives, to Moraine Valley. He was involved in researching if this would be a viable project for the college. “Hosting bees on campus is a great thing. It allows them to survive since they’re protected and can pollinate here, and they also help our campus’ plant life,” Ethan says.

Ethan is a big supporter of green initiatives on campus and, thanks to the Moraine Valley Foundation, he has been able to receive some “green” of a different kind in the form of a $1,000 scholarship. “Since I’m paying for my tuition and books on my own, that really helped,” he says. Ethan encourages others to apply for scholarships through the Foundation and he wants them to know scholarships aren’t all about grades. The one he received was related to his involvement in the college’s speech team, which has won numerous regional and national awards. In fact, the team took home the gold medal at the Phi Rho Pi National Speech Tournament this year, and Ethan won a bronze medal in prose interpretation.

Ethan feels his experiences in and out of the classroom have helped him learn and develop new skills. “It was the best place for me to grow,” he says.