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Marjai Kamara


My name is Marjai Kamara. I’m from Michigan. I studied Environmental Justice at the University of Michigan and now work as a high school college adviser.

What sustainability, energy, and community issues are important to you?

While I did grow up with sustainable parents who were very aware and made sure that we did not waste (even if they don’t see it that way), I pinpoint my interest beginning in third grade when my teacher explained vermicomposting to us. I thought that it made so much logical sense for us and the worms. It then expanded to recycling in middle school to volunteering at a garden house in high school. In college after studying aborad in the rainforest in Ecuador, I decided to major in Environmental studies.

What exciting projects/research are you working on now?

I just finished another school year helping high school students plan for their next steps after they graduate. Currently not working on any specific research and projects but I have been to conferences and protests advocating for the protection of our rights to clean water and resources.

What are your plans for the next five years?

In five years time I hope to be working somewhere hopefully doing something that is important to me. Probably directly with people. Hopefully with family too!

What made you want to apply to SISE?

I want to attend SISE to immerse myself again into sustainability, but in a practical and professional context. Sustainability was important to me enough to major but I never really knew how to translate it into anything past that and I hope this opportunity will help me to begin to see that.

What are you most looking forward to doing in Chicago?

Just honestly being in Chicago. I have feel in love with the show “The Chi” so I am excited to see some of the places that the show highlighted.

Do you like Cats? If not, are you willing to learn to like cats?

I love cats, cats just don’t love me as much. Hopefully that shall change in the future.