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Troy Tagliarino needed inspiration. An assignment was looming in his leadership class at University College, and he needed to find a community partner to work with throughout the quarter.

He was seeking an organization or cause that would spur him into action and inspire him to do more for his community (and fulfill the needs of the class project, of course). This is what led Troy to research, find, and eventually join Citizen’s Climate Lobby, a non-profit, non-partisan advocacy organization focused on national policies to address climate change.

“This would never have happened, if not for my University College studies,” he said. “My view of the world has opened up so that I see our society and its problems with clearer and more informed eyes.” Through Citizen’s Climate Lobby, Troy was selected to visit the U.S. Capitol and lobby lawmakers on behalf of our future, he says. Troy attended the annual conference, met with congress people and aides, and served as group leader when meeting with Congressman James Clyburn of South Carolina.

“I’m not a Democrat, I’m not a Republican, I’m thoughtful,” he said. “Politics are so many shades of gray, but climate change and its impact are clearer.” Leading comes naturally to Troy, who serves as the Director of Strategic Product Development for Sunblet—one of the largest construction equipment rental companies in the world. Through his leadership degree program, Troy has learned foundational lessons in leadership like managing virtual teams and facilitation, but he has also broadened his worldview.

“The classes have increased  my awareness of what’s going on politically and enabled me to grow and expand my vision,” he said. “I have a greater social conscious now.” Getting involved in the political process has sparked a passion in Troy that he didn’t know existed, and he encourages everyone to find their own passion and pursue it.

“If you’re ever in Washington, no matter who you are and what your purpose, go to the capital,” he said. “We need to demand more from our congress people—that’s the power we have as the electorate.”

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