It was my first day at ELAW. I rode my bike from home, passed a dog park, crossed the river and followed a clean and quiet bicycle path.  A lovely house surrounded with green bamboo appeared to me twenty minutes later – I’m at the ELAW office!

My name is Chu Chen, but I go by Cassie. I will do an internship with ELAW for one year.  I have lived in Eugene since 2007.  I grew up in the city of Rui’An (one urban area of Wenzhou), Zhejiang province of China.  My family still lives there.

People have asked me why I chose ELAW. Well, there are several factors attracting me, including its commitment to environmental justice, its international background and its location in Eugene.  Also I knew ELAW people when I was a student in University of Oregon.  Meche Lu, a friend of mine, works here as an environmental research scientist.  And I took a class of Environmental Justice taught by Vannia Glasinovic, a previous Program Assistant at ELAW.  I heard about what ELAW has been doing, and I learned knowledge and theories that support their activities.

I just finished my master degree in environmental studies at University of Oregon.  In the past two years, my study and life in Eugene made me a positive supporter of environmental protection. I have become interested in this environmental nonprofit that I knew little about before, and I am feeling inspired to dedicate myself to it!

ELAW is the best option for me to do the internship. I hope I can make my contribution to the organization while I am learning from all the ELAW people.

by Chu “Cassie” Chen