Shine On: Campus Voices – Connor Flynn
Connor Flynn, an Environmental Studies student at The University of Washington, connected with Let There Be Light International while developing his e-commerce clothing brand, Transcendental Dreamer. In an interview with LTBLI Communications Consultant Rachel Stukenborg, Connor shared his passion for energy access and environmental preservation and how he plans to use his studies, skills, and brand to impact global issues.
Rachel: Tell us a bit about yourself – what is your background and what are you studying?
Connor: My name’s Connor. I’m 21 years old and in my senior year at the University of Washington. I’m studying Environmental Studies and chose that major because I’ve always been interested in the environment/nature. (I grew up spending as much time as I could outside). After doing a lot of individual research on current environmental issues and learning a bit in intro classes, I decided I wanted to make a difference in whatever way I could.
Rachel: Why is energy access and/or sustainability important to you? In what ways are you currently involved in the field?
Connor: I think energy accessibility is important to me because I grew up and have always had all my basic necessities, including electricity. It’s hard for me to imagine living without electricity since it quite literally powers all aspects of our lives. I’m interested in helping others gain access to electricity so they can get out of the hardships faced by a lack of electricity. I do some freelance writing here and there and am interested in educating and sharing stories on sustainability and energy. I’ve written articles on energy accessibility and other areas related to sustainability in the hope that it inspires others to take action.
Rachel: I understand you’ve organized fundraising efforts for Let There Be Light International and we’re so thankful for your support of the LTBLI mission! Could you tell us more about your fundraiser and what drew you to LTBLI?
Connor: I recently launched an e-commerce clothing brand centered around the idea of pursuing your dreams and living a life of your own design. For so many people around the world, their dream is to simply have access to electricity or clean drinking water, or any other basic human need. So I wanted to help out and decided to donate a portion of each sale to organizations making a difference in this way. Until Fall ’22, I’ll be donating to Let There Be Light. In my sophomore and junior year of college, I wrote a research paper, followed by a presentation, on how solar energy can help undeveloped regions gain access to electricity. This actually sparked the original idea for my clothing brand (I knew I wanted to help in some way, which led me to the idea of creating a clothing brand). Throughout my research, I came across Let There Be Light and thought it would be a perfect organization to donate to!
Transcendental Dreamer plans to donate 10% of its profits to non-profit organizations working to combat global inequalities and injustices.
Let There Be Light International was chosen because of our demonstrated impact on energy poverty and climate change.
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Rachel: What are your future goals and how do they address sustainability and/or energy access?
Connor: Writing is a passion of mine, and I would love to tell stories and educate others about the importance of sustainability, energy accessibility, etc. I hope to do this through both the community I’m creating around my brand and my communication skills after I graduate. Overall, I hope to inspire others to lead more sustainable lives and become aware of these issues that are affecting people around the world.
Rachel: Do you have any additional thoughts you would like to share on LTBLI, energy poverty, or sustainability?
I would like to end by saying organizations like Let There Be Light International are truly making a difference in the lives of many people around the world. It’s amazing to see the impact, especially because so many people don’t even know that energy poverty is a serious issue that affects millions of people. So, just keep inspiring others and helping people along the way, because your efforts make a huge difference. You’ve definitely inspired me!