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Tiauna commented on Fomeno Presented by Annie Lien and Payton Ryz

This is super cool- I love thrifting and think an app definitely would be helpful with finding pieces! Keep up the great work!

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Tiauna commented on Vital Education to Improve Lives (VEIL)

Thank you Carson! I agree- tutoring is a great way to get connect one-to-one and give back directly and indirectly! I actually do have a story haha! Last semester, a student asked me about how I'm able to eat vegan while being a college student and/or on a tight budget. I think one huge misconception is that veganism is expensive or requires a bunch of time and effort. I talked to them about getting staples such as oats, rice, frozen fruit and veggies, beans, etc. and working with those! I sent them a few recipes for vegan dishes and nut milks (they were surprised by how easy it was to make oat milk and it's usually cheaper than store bought!) plus vegan vitamins and vitamin sources. In our next tutoring session, they told me they tried making oat milk. The recipe still needed a little tweaking, but they were happy with the result especially since it was easy and helps them give back! I gave them a few more simple recipes, articles about ordering vegan at popular restaurants, and my favorite vegan creators. At the end of the semester, they told they've been cutting down their meat consumption and only eat meat once or twice a day vs every meal. I thought that was super awesome because breaking the thought pattern that meat is needed for every meal is a huge step! I made my change similarly- slowly cutting out meat and switching to alternatives before fully committing and it has helped with making the change permanent and a lifestyle.

For increasing access, we host community events to support our local community and entrepreneurs. In May, we're having a Pop-Up Shop Eco Edition that will feature local ethical products, brands, and companies. We've found that these events increase customer options to sustainable and ethical brands and give our participants a chance to increase their network and customer base. We also offer workshops and social events focused on sustainability (past topics: What is Veganish?, Reducing Your Carbon Footprint, & Nut Milk Mixer) featuring us and local keynote speakers also committed to sustainability. We research the products we use in our merchandise (blank clothing and tote bags) and packages (PPE, attendee packages, etc.) so we are sure that we are using sustainable and ethical products! We're currently using Royal Wholesale for our blank apparel, USA based company. In our PPE donations, we reduced the number of disposable masks, replacing them with extra cotton masks to account for trash and reducing landfill (also from Royal). These are a few initiatives that we've worked on and are working on!

Thank you again for your support and questions! I hope I answered everything. :)

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Tiauna commented on Vital Education to Improve Lives (VEIL)

Tia Johnston Brown Nick Christoforou Thank you for your kind words and support! We aim to implement sustainability in all that we do. One example is researching and using ethical products (e.g. blank apparel and items in bags or packages) and services from companies that do good for the planet and appropriately source and pay their employees. Numbers wise, 25% of our organization is focused directly on sustainability through workshops and themed community events. For example, we're hosting an eco edition pop up shop in May featuring local brands and entrepreneurs that are also focused on sustainability. The pop-up shops feature a range of members while our workshops are hosted by our team and also feature keynote speakers that share their personal experiences & tips. We offer STEM tutoring, it is more focused on the students' needs, but they are encouraged to attend our outside workshops and events. Tutors do receive training on sustainability and encouraged to share their knowledge and experience with students as they see fit!