Its common for many of us to look at the current state of the world and think "I would love to do something about this", but not many of us have the ambition and brain power to come up with something long lasting. Alyssa Ramos Reynoso is pure #goals with her tenacity, and vivacious enthusiasm for saving the world.
Alyssa Ramos is the Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder for Schools for Sustainability. Schools for Sustainability Inc is a volunteer based non profit organization whose mission is to empower communities by teaching high school level students how to purify water, grow organic food, manage waste, and produce renewable energy with a focus on leadership, teamwork, and mindfulness.
Schools for Sustainability was founded in 2013 and was inspired by Alyssa's own experience overcoming homelessness. While attending Aquinas High School her grandmother was admitted to the hospital after falling ill to a plethora of health conditions. Unfortunately, this left Alyssa homeless, and living with her mother would leave her with an unrealistic four hour commute to and from school. The idea of sleeping under subway benches for many would be daunting, and discouraging to say the least but Alyssa instead chose to "visualize a world where no one was homeless, thirsty, hungry or unsafe." Since then she has made it her mission to provide an education that will uplift those in need from poverty.
Their latest project was in collaboration with 33 Buckets. They built a water purification system in Monte Plata, Dominican Republic. This system provides clean drinking water to 5,000 Dominicans and Haitians. Schools for Sustainability got it's inception in the Dominican Republic thanks to land donation and some amazing connections.
But her goals were to go beyond Dominican Republic or Haiti, this self sustainable system is one that could be applied and practiced all over the world. And knowing Alyssa, she will certainly make that happen. Her next stops are Cabarete, Dominican Republic where she is collaborating with Mariposa DR Foundation and Hearts in Haiti to develop a curriculum and an aquaponics system.
For us regular folk, who wish to get involved, they are in need of curriculum developers, grant writers, fundraisers, administrative support and partners that can market service learning trips to their members which she is currently working with universities and colleges to develop.
I am lucky enough to know Alyssa as former classmate and friend, who never ceases to amaze me with her vivacious fiery Latina Aries energy. To call her a go getter is an understatement! She graduated magna cum laude from Arcadia University with multiple honors. She interned for Parvati Swayamrojgaar, a micro finance organization working to break poverty in cycle in the slums of India, taught english at orphanage in Tanzania, and facilitated the establishment of the Women's Witness Protection Program for the international Criminal Tribunal in Rwanda.
The truth is, that not all super heroes wear capes, sometimes a smile will suffice.