Summit for the Planet Student Spotlight

The 13th annual Summit for the Planet will be hosted at Mount Madonna School on Saturday, April 27. Admission is free. Details at

Name and Grade:
Grace Timan, 9th Grade

What inspires you about the Mount Madonna School (MMS) annual Summit for the Planet event?
The unity of it all and watching the whole school come together and push towards a common goal inspires me.

What should people know about Summit for the Planet that would make them want to come?
It’s honestly just a good time! No matter if you are in the first grade or a senior, there is something for everyone. Personally I really like spending time with all my friends in the walk.

What is your favorite environment-related activity or project that you’ve done at MMS, and why?
I am really enjoying the environmental project me and my class are currently working on. The main goal of our project is to make our school zero waste. We have been collecting data, and implementing our ideas the entire year. Right now we are trying to get reusable utensils into the snack bar.

If you had the power to change one thing in the world, what would it be?
While I could say I just want something like the end of climate change,  personally, I really would want people to take more action. We could fix so many problems in our world, make so many people’s lives more worth living, if instead of sitting and watching, we took action.

If you could go anywhere, where would you go, and why?
If I could go anywhere in the world right now I would go to the Philippines. I am Filipino and I love visiting my family and culture. Also they just reopened an island that they had shutdown to clean up the pollution, I would love to see how it looks now.

Name one big environmental challenge in the world that you feel impacts your life, right now:
Where I live littering is a huge problem. All over, not just in Watsonville, but in Santa Cruz, and everywhere there are tons and tons of trash. It’s completely inescapable.

What is your dream job?
My dream job is to be a lawyer. I going to be the third generation of lawyers in my family and the first female. Preferably I want to work in criminal defense, or immigration. I want to be able to help those that the world has turned against. People, especially those that have been caught up in a life of crime, aren’t just one layer, they are more than their crime and I want to show that.

What is your favorite book (fiction or nonfiction) on an environmental-related topic?

I really enjoyed the book The Death and Life Of Monterey Bay: A Story of Revival by Carolyn Sotka and Stephen Palumbi. We read it for our marine biology class. I learned a lot about the local history and the ecosystem that I hadn’t heard of before.

What is something related to the environment or nature that makes you smile?
How nice weather can make everything better. If I’m having a glum day, the easiest way to make it better is by the sun coming out and shining.

Name an environmentalist, activist or scientist who inspires you, and why:
Malala has always inspired me because of her refusal to back down. She legitimately faced death and still reused to stop spreading her message. She saw what needed change and she fought. Me and many girls around the world are thankful for her work.


Contact: Leigh Ann Clifton, director of marketing & communications,

Nestled among the redwoods on 355 mountaintop acres, Mount Madonna is a safe and nurturing college-preparatory school that supports students in becoming caring, self-aware and articulate critical thinkers, who are prepared to meet challenges with perseverance, creativity and integrity. The CAIS and WASC accredited program emphasizes academic excellence, creative self-expression and positive character development. Located on Summit Road between Gilroy and Watsonville.