Rachel felt she joined a community when she entered UVM’s Environmental Program—a community that continues to engage and inspire her today. Core to her experiences at UVM were three formative years at Slade Hall—a hub of environmental activism on campus. Students grew some of their own food, worked member hours at the original Onion River Co-op and engaged in dinner time and late night debates around the environmental issues of the day—Hydro-Quebec impacts, recycling, diversity on campus and a proposed campus bus system, among others. “I feel like my years at UVM really changed the direction of my life in so many ways. It was such a pivotal time. I attribute that to living at Slade and being involved with the Environmental Program. Both opened up my world and exposed me to new ways of thinking. Those years shaped me into who I am, gave me many of the friendships I still hold dear, and put me on my career path.”
Rachel went on to work as an environmental educator at ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center and Chewonki Camps, earning a master’s in education in South Africa on an international Rotary fellowship. She now directs a program empowering women to improve their lives and careers. She lives in Burlington, Vermont with husband Adam Walker and daughter Shayna.