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Meet Hannah Schlacter, President and Founder of ActGreen

Between being a member of Alpha Epsilon Phi, working social media and marketing for a student startup company, majoring in marketing and entrepreneurship and being an activist for the American-Israeli Student Coalition, it seems as though UIUC student Hannah Schlacter wouldn’t have time to catch her breath. But, on top of all her activities, school work and social life, Schlacter is president and founder of ActGreen, a new student organization that focuses on educating business students to be environmentally literate. In November 2013, Schlacter began this student organization when she realized there wasn’t a club on campus that focused on environmentalism and the business world. She decided it was time to take matters into her own hands and turn her passion into a reality.

HC: What exactly is ActGreen?

Hannah Schlacter: I have been working with an administrator, Ben Chandler, and a group of students to start my own green business organization. We got together and talked about planning a conference and put together all of our green business ideas, and we decided ActGreen needed a specific purpose. We decided that purpose would be helping business students understand the connection between environmentalism and their business areas of interest. We’ll act as a College of Business organization, but we’ll allow any students interested in green business to come to our events.

HC: What have been your most recent projects with ActGreen?

HS: Recently, I was at the Clinton Global Initiative conference in Tempe, Arizona where I was actually able to meet Bill Clinton as well as Gabby Giffords. I applied to have ActGreen attend the conference, and we were accepted. It was very empowering because I was with a lot of other student leaders and it made me want to make ActGreen even bigger. Short term, I want to establish ourselves as an organization within the College of Business, but in the long run I see us becoming a national organization with chapters across the country and starting a new generation of green business. I’m trying to educate future business leaders to think about climate change and how their future companies will impact the environment day-to-day. We have to further develop our exact ideas for where this organization will go, but I know we are looking forward to having a start-up conference sometime this year.

HC: What inspired you to start ActGreen?

HS: In high school, I took a lot of environmental studies classes and I was president of the school’s green team, both of which really sparked my passion for being an advocate for a healthy environment. I realized, however, that a lot of students in the College of Business don’t have that kind of background.  They will be making huge decisions when they are older, and I want them to make decisions that will positively impact the environment. There is a lot of work that needs to be done to make this into the organization I imagine, but I want this to be my legacy on campus.

HC: What have been your biggest obstacles in founding this organization?

HS: A lot of it has been timing. We started in November, but becoming an established organization is a very time consuming process. We still don’t have a formal sponsor, either. But mostly, it’s been piecing together the puzzle of everything that needs to get done to make this work.

HC: How do you manage all of these activities? What is your advice for students who are as ambitious as you?

HS: I guess I am good at managing my time. I have a schedule and I keep very organized in general, but I really know what my priorities are. At the end of the day, I know what I value and I plan accordingly, while still keeping a balance. All of this helps me balance everything I am doing successfully.

To learn more, you can check out Hannah Schlacter’s ActGreen Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ActgreenUIUC

Editor in Chief of Her Campus Illinois Chapter
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