Four with a ‘Dore: Savannah Childress

(@vanderbiltu / Vanderbilt University)

In the Four With ‘Dore series, we’re getting to know Vanderbilt students four questions at a time. In today’s edition, meet #VU2023’s Savannah Childress, a Columbus, Ohio native with a major in human and organizational development and a minor in data science.

Q: What is the most impactful experience you’ve had as a Vanderbilt student?
A: The summer after my sophomore year I worked with The Nashville Food Project, which produces meals for community partners like nursing homes, afterschool programs and homeless shelters. It allowed me to engage in food justice, which is something I’m truly passionate about. I was on the meals team helping to produce more than 1,500 meals a week and I later went on to work in their community garden. It was a great experience to build relationships and engage in the Nashville community in a real way.

Q: What can you tell us about your internship with Silicon Ranch Corporation?
A: The contact listed on the internship opportunity was a Vanderbilt alum who was currently working there. Once I connected with her and did some research, I learned that it was a company I wanted to work for. In my role, I’m helping find new places for the company to build solar farms. I’ve really enjoyed my experience and it’s been a great opportunity to practice my skills and make that connection between what happens in the classroom and what happens in the real world.

Q: What advice do you have for incoming students interested in sustainability?
A: Pursue your passion. It’s great to have a plan, but be open to going with the flow, too. For me, some of the best experiences and people I’ve met have come from pursuing opportunities that were not part of the original plan.

Q: What is something you wish more people knew about sustainability or food?
A: It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Sustainability is an individualized concept that’s different for everyone. There’s not one right way to do any of these things and everyone starts somewhere. There are small steps everyone can do on a daily basis. You don’t have to do everything to be doing something good.

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