Meet Our Alumni: Marina Acosta

former-asu-sustainability-studentMarina Acosta graduated from the School of Sustainability in 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in the Policy and Governance track. She also minored in Psychology. Currently, Acosta is in the Master of Science Obesity Prevention and Management program at ASU. Why did you choose Arizona State University? ASU is my home and I couldn’t imagine going anywhere else. I did not apply for any other schools. This was close enough to my family and allowed me to experience great diversity while receiving a top-notch education. Also, I’ve always wanted to make a difference and when I learned about the School of Sustainability, I knew that there would always be something for me to do. I thought it was an innovative and fast-growing field, and I was right. Tell us about the sustainability connection at your current job. When embarking on a career as new as sustainability, it was not always easy to see the job opportunities that involved sustainability work. Once I graduated, I was lucky to find a job that truly resonated with me. I coordinate the School and Community Garden Program at the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension. The program is funded through the USDA to address the issue of obesity and it aims to help people in low-income communities to learn about nutrition and growing food for the health of it. My job entails spending a great deal of time in the field doing garden consultations, providing technical assistance, delivering materials, installing vegetable gardens and teaching classes. The program has provided over 70 low-income sites with gardening support. I also enjoy giving back to the School of Sustainability by providing summer, fall and spring internships to undergraduate students, in addition to providing job-shadowing opportunities. What is on the horizon for you? In my job, I hope to reach out to more communities and help to create sustainable gardens throughout the valley. Thanks to my experience in this job, I have become interested in the field of public health. I am currently pursuing a Master of Science in Obesity Prevention and Management at ASU and I hope to help more people learn to lead healthier lifestyles. What does sustainability mean to you? Sustainability to me means providing better outcomes. We are in a changing world with a changing environment and what we do now will impact the state of our future society and world. People in sustainability may not live long enough to see the fruits of their labor, but they will sure be leaving the world a little better than they found it. It can feel overwhelming trying to fix every sustainability issue, but I think it’s about finding a cause you love, finding what you are good at and pairing the two together to create positive change.