Jonathan Xavier William Gomez DiCesare Student, Boston University Environmental Analysis and Policy
How did you get to where you are today? I grew up in a small rural village about an hour west of Albany, with a strict no TV policy. I spent my childhood attempting to build all manner of vehicles from self-propelled Lego boats to balsa gliders retrofitted with Radio Shack motors. I was also a very active member of Boy Scouts, camping, hiking, and fishing whenever possible. For my Eagle Scout service project, I wanted to do something that would last for many years and provide significant value. My fascination with moving parts, love of the outdoors and desire for impact coalesced into a micro hydroelectric facility, powered by an 11ft metal waterwheel in the creek that runs through the center of Cobleskill. Working my way through this project awakened me to global need for more renewable energy. Who has been the most influential person in your life and why? My father is the most influential person in my life. He is always game for adventure and challenges me to re-frame every problem with, “how do we do this?” not “this can’t be done”. Reflecting this attitude, he consistently supports me, and rubs off on me (bad jokes included). The apple does not fall far from the tree. How did you decide on your college major OR the career you have chosen? and how do you see your choice as an opportunity to help your community? I always wanted to be an “inventor”, and the various ways of harnessing energy has eternally captivated me. Given my strength in interpersonal relationships compared to math, I decided that a degree focusing on the people side of energy while improving my facility with the technical aspects of energy would create the best balance. I am pursuing an Environmental Analysis and Policy Major with an Engineering Minor. This blend will allow me to inspire and implement smart, effective policy changes to advance renewable energy and mitigate the negative impacts climate change can have on all facets of society. What is your Latino / Hispanic Heritage? My Grandfather is Cuban. Best memory of growing up. One winter we had a very heavy snowfall and I decided to build a luge course down my hill with really high banked corners that wove back and forth around the garden and through the buildings at the bottom. My little brother and I spent weeks repairing and improving the course so we could go faster and faster on our sleds. Best memory of a day at school or work. In fourth grade there was a very strong thunderstorm that made it dark almost the entire day. I remember sitting in school that day, feeling very content and almost cozy. It seemed to relieve the rigors of the day. Best day ever. I recently took two friends sailing in Boston Harbor. We anchored off one of the islands and tried to row in on a small inflatable rowboat. The rowboat only fit two people and was probably not designed for much more than pond use. Needless to say it was extremely hard to row normally, never mind when the wind picked up and the waves rose to a 2ft chop. We made it to land just fine but when we tried to return one of the lifeguards from the beach came out in his kayak to tow us the rest of the way out, “the most exciting part of his day” he claimed. On the sail back to the harbor we were pounding through the waves when we realized the little rowboat we were towing was no longer there, which launched another half hour long escapade to recover it. We succeeded and found the rope tied to the front had ripped through the plastic, leaving a significant hole. Exhausted and sunburned we got back to the dock and proceeded to go camping. ‘twas a splendid adventure. Where did you go to College and what was your focus/major OR what College are you attending and what is your major? Boston University for Environmental Analysis and Policy Best book you ever read. All the Cowboys Were Indians by Stan Brock. Favorite quote? "Shut up and paint" - my dad at 2am Favorite sports team. New England Patriots Favorite song. Bicycle by Queen Message you would share with all young Latinos reading your story. Be kind, be humble, but believe in yourself. I also firmly believe you can get anywhere or anything if you work hard enough, just remember that sometimes there is more to life than a high paying job.
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