MMA student wins “Brookie” for renewable energy efforts

CASTINE — Lucas Healy, president of the campus sustainability club at Maine Maritime Academy, is one of six young people across the state honored with the latest round of Brookie Awards for their leadership and effectiveness in tackling a wide range of environmental issues.

The Brookie Awards are hosted by NRCM Rising, the young member arm of the Natural Resources Council of Maine.

“The contributions these young leaders have already made are incredible and give me great hope for the future of the environmental movement in Maine,” said Natural Resources Council of Maine CEO Lisa Pohlmann. “We’re grateful to every one of our 2022 Brookie Award winners for leading by example and pushing us all to build a healthier, more equitable future for Maine’s environment and communities.”

Healy advocated for renewable energy curriculum to be taught on campus at MMA to prepare students for clean energy careers. He took on an internship focused on offshore wind development for no academic credits, on top of his other academic responsibilities, to set himself up for a career in the wind industry. At the conclusion of his internship, he worked with professors and the dean of students to advocate for new renewable energy courses to be offered on campus and to incorporate renewables into existing curriculum. For his senior capstone, Healy built an operational wind turbine and testing facility on campus to incorporate into the curriculum.

He also organized community cleanups and helped establish a bottle recycling program on campus.

The Brookie Award winners will be honored at a ceremony and reception on July 14 at O’Maine Studios in Portland from 6-8 p.m. More than 50 young environmental leaders across 14 of Maine’s 16 counties applied for a Brookie Award. Candidates were evaluated on their leadership, creativity, collaboration and positive impact for Maine’s environment. Each Brookie Award winner receives a $2,000 cash prize, a short video about their work, a six-week public speaking and speechwriting training and an invitation to a nature-based retreat with their fellow winners where they will participate in skill-building sessions and engage with other environmental and political leaders in Maine.

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