Youth Leadership Council Member
Ela Gokcigdem is an incoming freshman at Babson College in Wellesley, MA. She hopes to obtain a Bachelor's in Business with concentrations in environmental sustainability and social justice.
After spending her summers on a small island in Turkey called Avsa, she noticed the dire impacts of agricultural globalization and plastic pollution on her hometown. She has taken this experience and channeled it into a passion for social entrepreneurship. Ela believes that environmental activism has many outlets, and she has found that business is a perfect place for her to showcase her passion for conservation. She has started two ventures, one called ePearl Technologies and a non-profit called Youth Environmental Society. These ventures have allowed her to be featured on the Washington Post, NBC and ABC. She won runner-up at the NFTE National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge and channeled her prize money into her non-profit organization. This year she was also named as one of Arlington’s Extraordinary Teens. Alongside this, she is a finance team member for the youth-led climate initiative This Is Zero Hour. She also is a student liaison for her county’s sustainability advisory committee.
In her free time Ela loves taking her kayak to her local stream, Four Mile Run, and picking up trash. She also plays the french horn and piano and composes music. During the school year she participated in her varsity swim and tennis team, was the president of DECA, organized the Interact Club, was the president of History Honor Society, and was a member of the school’s environmental club. She is super thrilled to connect with like-minded peers through EarthEcho!