Kirsten Swanson

For the past eight years, USGBC has offered scholarships to make Greenbuild accessible to people who would otherwise not be able to attend. For Greenbuild 2015, 94 individuals received a scholarship. Recipients represent a diverse group of people from around the world. Each one has a story to tell and brings their own passion to their work. Each one has a role to play in making green buildings and communities a reality for all. 

As we lead up to Greenbuild 2016 in Los Angeles, we will highlight a handful of the awesome individuals who joined us here in Washington, D.C., for Greenbuild 2015. We welcome these folks to the USGBC community.

Jonnathan Padilla

Hails from: Bogotá, Colombia

Sustainability background: I am a graduate of the architecture program at the National University of Colombia. In 2011, I started an internship at Colombia Green Building Council and became aware of the importance of understanding the three pillars of sustainability: social, economic and environmental. As an architectural project lead, I have designed and executed strategies for several construction projects, including a recent social housing design competition.

Most inspiring part of Greenbuild: A lecture about YouthBuild and a Youthbuild partner from Los Angeles, Ely Flores.

Most fun part of Greenbuild: Talent FX lectures. The Greenbuild Celebration and the afterparty were cool, too.

Next steps: I'm planning to pursue studies in building technology that include approaches from cutting-edge technologies. I want to balance the relationship between modern innovations and ancient building techniques. Being part of an academic network in my homeland, Colombia, I would love to serve as a facilitator and an ambassador of those initiatives that require interdisciplinary efforts and an international outlook—not only American, but a truly global one. 

Butch Dariel Nera

Hails from: Parañaque City, Philippines

Sustainability background: I completed my degree in architecture in December 2015 at Mapua Institute of Technology in Manila, while also working in various companies on projects ranging from design to project construction management and LEED certification. I am currently working as a LEED project coordinator/officer at APTCS and preparing for my LEED GA exam this coming March. 

Most inspiring part of Greenbuild: I was inspired by the YouthBuild program and how they assist out-of-school youth in completing their diplomas while earning.

Most fun part of Greenbuild: Walking from the Lincoln Memorial and sightseeing on all the amazing spots up to my hotel.

Next steps: Greenbuild not only gave me the motivation to pursue the green building field, but also the inspiration of meeting the USGBC community and being part of the green building enthusiasts group of nearly 20,000 attendees. I will be joining the Climate Change Reality Corp. Training with Al Gore this March, here in Manila, and will learn more about the concepts of green building so I can complete the LEED GA and AP (BD+C) and Neighborhood Development credentials by the end of this year. By the start of 2017, I hope to adapt the YouthBuild Haiti Program in my local community to start small projects, especially in locations that are usually typhoon-stricken.

Erica Moore

Hails from: Knoxville, Tennessee

Sustainability background: I wear many hats as a wife, mother of a free-spirited little girl, entrepreneur, sustainability consultant, green schools educator, interior design professional, self-proclaimed foodie and environmental enthusiast who is intrigued by one's journey. I love helping people and solving others' problems. I have made it my mission to leave a legacy, one way or another. My passion to impact children's lives continues to be my number one priority. 

Most inspiring part of Greenbuild: YouthBuild's story and all the phenomenal work they do for at-risk youth and the community

Most fun part of Greenbuild: Meeting new people from all walks of life, being a part of the interactive sessions, walking through the expo and exploring D.C.

Next steps: Recently, I moved from Orlando to Nashville. I am so excited to hit the ground running and spread the information I learned at Greenbuild throughout Middle Tennessee. I plan to collaborate with the Metro Nashville School System to devise a specific program to increase awareness and participation in green initiatives. There is a missing link in this community. With help from USGBC, I aspire to be a catalyst for positive change starting with its schools. I am passionate because my daughter and her classmates will be directly impacted.

Learn more about Greenbuild scholarships