Environmental Studies

Kieanna Jolaei “It’s my plan to help the world fix a lot of its major problems. And when I leave this Earth, I will have left my fingerprints behind.”

If sheer energy counts for anything, Kieanna Jolaei is going to leave this world in much better shape than the one she was born into. She is, quite literally, a force of nature. “I’m going to be at SMC for another two years because I switched my major. I finally found something I was passionate about: Environmental Science. Okay. We have made all the mistakes that we could possibly have made with our Earth. But we honestly have all the technology available to fix them all.”

If all goes according to Kieanna’s plans she will get her “Master’s from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where they have great environmental programs. Then I would like to work in a lot of developing countries, to help them plan sustainability and avoid the mistakes that we’ve made in more developed nations. ‘Luxury living’ is definitely not okay, and I think that we all need to realize that living more simply ultimately helps us to live happier and fuller lives.” Kieanna has already learned some great lessons in simplicity from her work with California native plants.

“I volunteer in a foundation that works with a lot of landscapers to educate them about the uses of these plants in saving our water. There are just so many areas I want to get involved with in my field,” says Kieanna. “Urban planning, making better and safer streets... you name it!” And Kieanna—whose sister was also profiled in these pages two years ago—offers this advice to any and all students at SMC: “Do not procrastinate when you come here. Sample classes until you find your purpose and passion. If you’re the kind of person that slacks off, you won’t do well here. So just break that cycle!”

Read more stories from present and past years in the SMC Student Spotlight Archive.