Alumni Spotlight: Joshua Nodiff


Joshua Nodiff is a senior at LaGuardia High School, in the Technical Theater Department. Amongst his work in the Tech Department, Josh has designed and constructed the props and set pieces for countless performances that LaGuardia has produced, though he primarily serves as the residential audio engineer for the school. He is currently the sound designer for LaGuardia's upcoming production of "In The Heights". Josh is also the President of LaGuardia’s entire student body, and leads the school's Student Government Organization. He is an activist, an environmentalist, and is determined to heal the planet.

Why did you decide to study abroad with Sustainable Summer in Costa Rica?

I chose to study abroad with Sustainable Summer because it stood out to me as the perfect match for my diverse interests.

I am profoundly passionate about environmental science, which is the core educational component of Sustainable Summer.

I love adventuring, and the itinerary for the Sustainable Summer program stood out as an incredible series of adventures, from horseback riding to a waterfall, to kayaking to a volcano, to white water rafting through the rainforest.

I also chose the program because I love Latin American culture, and traveling to Costa Rica resonated as a wonderful opportunity.

What made this travel experience unique and special?

This experience was unique because of the locations we visited, and the activities we did at each location. For instance, we visited a permaculture ranch in which we lived communally, growing our own food and working with the farm animals. Living communally provided me with a sense of shared responsibility and solidarity, which was certainly a transformational and eye-opening experience. At other locations, we hiked with ethnobotanists who taught us about medicinal and sacred plants and indigineous culture. The balance of adventure alongside intellectuality, community, and local activism enabled Sustainable Summer to be special experience in my life.

How has this experience impacted your future? (Personally, professionally, academically, etc.)

Sustainable Summer has certainly impacted who I have and will become as a person, an activist, and a leader.

The experiences I've been a part of and the people I have met have shaped me by allowing me to realize two very important axioms: humankind has destroyed the longevity of our environment, thus it is up to our generation to heal the planet; and every single person is a leader in his or her own way.

Leaders come in all shapes and sizes, and the most important ability is to be able to recognize the leadership in everybody you encounter.

What is one piece of advice you would offer someone considering studying abroad in Costa Rica?

Costa Rica is beyond beautiful and full of vibrant color and wildlife. Don't feel discouraged if you don't speak Spanish! You do not have to speak Spanish to make the most out of this adventure, so no worries. However, if you do speak Spanish, this will be a perfect opportunity to practice your linguistic skills. Everybody will ultimately pick up some basic Spanish and Costa Rican colloquialism just by traveling through the country, so if you've always wanted to learn Spanish, this adventure is a great orientation to the language.