Rustic Spirit Spotlights: Pristine, Angel and Maddie
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Rustic Spirit Spotlights: Pristine, Angel and Maddie

We recognize and celebrate the ‘Rustic Spirit’ of young changemakers around the world who prove themselves to be community-oriented and positive impact-minded through their actions.

The following students embody Rustic Spirit and are making a positive impact wherever they go!

Pristine Onuoha
Age 17
East Chapel Hill High School
Chapel Hill, North Carolina

As a part of her school’s National Achievers Society/Future Advancement for Minority Education club, Pristine led the efforts to reach out to local businesses to fundraise for senior scholarships and sold fundraiser raffle tickets at a social justice event. As a part of her school’s Black History Month celebration, Pristine acknowledges black figures from the past and present over the announcements in February.

Her passion for social justice led her to help a local nonprofit coordinate a gathering for affordable housing and advocate for those from various socioeconomic backgrounds. As Co-President of NHS, Pristine coordinates monthly volunteer opportunities such as mail deliveries and cookouts to empower peers to connect to overlooked communities.

Fascinated by human biology and space biology, Pristine aspires to become a physician-scientist and use her medical expertise and space biology research to advance public health. As a health equity advocate, Pristine plans to help mitigate health inequity in underserved populations. She plans to major in biology in college to make her ambitious aspirations a reality.

Pristine enjoys reading fiction, and listening and dancing to Afrobeats to stay connected to her heritage while living away from Nigeria. Pristine advises not to be afraid to pursue your passions–you never know how far you may get!

Angel Alvarez
Age 16
Tonasket High School
Tonasket, Washington

Angel is an outstanding volunteer in his community. Last year he helped coordinate unloading the semi truck that brought pallets of food for the local food bank, and this year he has been a vital part of his community’s snow shoveling efforts. After a recent storm, he spent time during his winter break shoveling snow with a friend.

In college, Angel plans to major in business. He enjoys hanging out with his friends in his free time. As advice to other students wanting to make an impact, he advises to just put yourself out there and ask!

Maddie Ashmore
Age 16
Tonasket High School
Tonasket, Washington

As a Juliette Girl Scout and National Delegate for Girl Scouts of Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho, Maddie will be representing her community at a nationwide convention to vote on issues affecting Girl Scouts across the country. She’s also an Associated Student Body President, leading student council and organizing school events. Through both of these roles she does community service, mentors younger students, and also holds mental health and youth wellness leadership positions.

After high school, Maddie intends to double major in English and political science with a minor in journalism, and eventually go to law school. After gaining experience as a lawyer, her dream is to be a legislator in her home state of Washington. Maddie loves reading, spending time with friends, writing, listening to music, and exploring new places.

Maddie also advises to just put yourself out there! She says joining new groups can be intimidating at first, but doesn’t regret a single thing she’s tried (even if she didn’t stick with it forever). The groups that Maddie has been a part of have helped her find herself.

Nominate a Student

Do you know a student doing valuable work that deserves to be recognized? Nominate them here! Are you making an impact? Tell us about your work here.

Make Change

Interested in creating change in your community? Check out our guide and learn how to make an impact as a student.

At Rustic Pathways, our goal is to make positive contributions to the communities we visit through responsible travel operations and community service projects that contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

About the Author

Kayla Anzalone

Kayla joined Rustic Pathways in 2020 as the Director of Special Projects. She has nearly a decade of experience in communications and marketing. At Rustic Pathways, Kayla is dedicated to helping high school students discover their passion for exploring the world through summer travel programs. She drives impactful initiatives to empower students through meaningful travel experiences worldwide. Based in San Jose, California, Kayla loves the outdoors, live music and travel.