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Youth Advocate,
Future of Sustainability

Lena Ciganer-Albeniz is a 16-year-old student at Phillips Academy in Andover, MA, though she normally calls Tokyo, Japan home. A competitive tennis and volleyball player, she is active in numerous on-campus clubs mainly centered around sustainability and business. Some of her hobbies include cooking and baking, listening to music, thrifting, going to the gym, and photography.

Through her participation in a variety of social impact organizations such as Philanthropy Investment and Mental Health Awareness Club, Lena discovered a true passion for sustainability and the fight against climate change. As such, she has pursued leadership in the sustainability coalition, becoming an EcoLeader, an on-campus advocate for sustainability. From there, Lena joined Andover Climate Lobbying (ACL), a lobbying organization, which allowed her to interact with state legislators and even was featured on CBS Boston. She gained a board spot for organizing Earth Week events at her school, co-hosts the Climate Café Podcast and recently got accepted to the Andover Youth Climate Research Institute.

She hopes to lead the Divestment group which succeeded in getting the Board of Trustees at Andover to remove all the fossil fuel investments during the next 2 years. With these formative experiences at school, Lena realized her impact and decided to push her efforts off-campus as well. Thus, Lena’s nascent clothing line GAIA Apparel, which marries her devotion to the climate cause with her love for fashion, was born.

In creating a clothing line that vows to be 100% sustainable by using organic cotton and other recycled fibers, Lena aims to raise awareness about the scourge of fast fashion and its contribution to global emissions, alongside other negative environmental and social impacts. With a clear environmentally and socially-focused mission, the brand communicates and educates the urgency of the climate crisis to its young audience alongside stylish and wearable fashion. Though just one small front in the battle for a more sustainable world, Lena aims to inspire other environmentally-minded youth to find their power and join the fight!

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