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Anna Lenaker

Class of 2024-2025

About Anna

Anna is a lifelong learner, an author, and a proud first-generation student. She was born in southern California but has called many places home, including northern Mexico, northern California, Rhode Island, Connecticut, southern Mexico, England, New York City, and Solvang, California––a small town in central California wine country that’s modeled after a Danish village. She is currently pursuing her Master of Environmental Management at the Yale School of the Environment, specializing in climate change science and solutions. Previously, Anna received her Master of Public Affairs and Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies from Brown University. 
Anna believes climate change and its disproportionate impacts on vulnerable populations is  the moral issue of her lifetime. She is committed to developing and supporting science- and place-based solutions to the climate crisis that are just and effective. Anna sees her degrees as working together to provide her with an interdisciplinary lens on environmental issues and their potential solutions. To work on a problem as wicked as climate change, one cannot think in a silo––it’s essential to bring together human values, political and economic systems, and science. 
Anna spends a lot of time writing. Her first book titled Able to Be Otherwise is an account of her experiences and encounters with poverty, familial addiction, and climate change. With it, she contributes a personal and compassionate perspective to ongoing dialogues surrounding poverty, addiction, and climate change, and their solutions. Anna believes in the power of storytelling to move minds, inspire change, and foster community, and has experienced many moments of meaningful connection through sharing her story.
She’s written on the public health impacts of tropical deforestation with the World Resources Institute. And, through interviews with Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone tribal members, Anna has been learning and writing about the history and hoped-for futures of Indigenous water management on the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming. 
Thankful for the opportunities she’s been given, Anna has spent the last eight years helping students across the U.S. and beyond pursue their academic goals and apply to college. Anna is an avid reader, walker, and coffee drinker. She loves traveling to new places, sampling new cuisines, and watching Jeopardy !

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