Yani is one of our former Spike students — now at University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business. As you can see in this video, fitness and sustainability were very important to her on a personal level because of her health challenges related to pollution-induced asthma, which crippled her for much of childhood.
Yani developed a “green gym” sustainability initiative for her school’s middle school, with the goal of creating a gym that would use electricity-generating equipment to lower the school’s carbon footprint. She raised the money and mobilized support, then recruited partnering teachers and co-developed classroom lessons using the green gym as an “active classroom.” In parallel, she learned all the ins and outs of the green exercise movement and became an expert in electricity-producing gym equipment. The equipment itself doesn’t generate all that much energy (enough to power a blender at least – they used one bike to make smoothies which they sold to fundraise!), but the initiative shifted the mindset of the students within the school. Her school has now expanded the green gym initiative to other schools in their system. Yani started her Spike in the summer which we address in our post about why the summer is the perfect time to launch a Spike!