“Let’s build communities that educate and support youth worldwide in order to create meaningful discourse and societal progress.”
2024 Top 30 Under 30
What specific issue(s) are you taking on, and what inspires you to do so?
Through the STREAM Education Center (STREAM EC), I foster elementary student’s confidence, critical thinking, and leadership, particularly for first and second generation immigrants and refugees. I was inspired to start STREAM EC after finding my voice to support my immigrant parents.
I also spend my time starting and running my school’s business club. After opening my eyes to a new world at business conferences, the friendliness of the community inspired me to help other students at my school develop financial literacy and other basic business concepts. We build crucial foundational skills at a school without business-related courses.
What does climate change or climate justice mean to you? To your work?
Delving into the pages of books on climate change such as The Leap and The Uninhabitable Earth showed me the horrible effects of climate change and the capacity and importance for people to take action. However, it was only during my family’s annual camping trips did I observe with my own eyes the devastating effects of climate change on nature and on communities.
My experiences along with learning about climate tech at business conferences lead me to innovate in the climate tech space. I ideated a smart sensor that reduces food waste and have received thousands in funding, or which I am currently collaborating with others to straighten out the code. In the future, I hope to continue innovating or actively supporting efforts to combat climate change.
What advice do you have for other young people looking to get involved in sustainable development?
Identify an issue you care about and get started. Start working on it instead of letting the planning overwhelm you. Reach out to people in your community for feedback, support, and mentorship—their support is useful and crucial.
City Councilor Terry Wong taking a selfie with Nicole and the run participants for the Miles of Meals charity run Nicole organized in October 2023.
Nicole assumed the role of mayor for a day and sat on council with 14 other highschool females to promote women in politics and ‘pass’ legislation banning single-use plastics.