Adams House Announces Climate Funding Program for Student Projects


Adams House, one of Harvard’s twelve upperclassmen houses, launched Adams Works on Climate earlier this month — a two-year program to fund climate projects led by Adams residents.

The program will fund climate-related sandbox projects, programming events, and internships or job opportunities. According to a press release, the initiative focuses on four themes: decarbonizing the economy, advancing healthy communities, restoring the environment, and advocating for climate justice.

Adams House Faculty Dean Mercedes C. Becerra ’91 and Resident Tutor Santiago Pardo Sanchez ’16 spearheaded the initiative to bring together students, faculty, tutors, and alumni in a collaborative effort to combat climate change, according to the press release.

According to Pardo Sanchez, the program has sent out a rolling application form to students, and both he and Becerra will continue to encourage students to apply for the next two years.


“We kind of came up with this framework on how to do it in a way that could maximize student creativity, and then maximize the engagement in the house,” he said.

Pardo Sanchez said he is working to connect current undergraduates with Adams alumni working in the climate field.

“I think the goal is to show kind of the breadth of climate opportunities out there and to have this intergenerational all-hands-on-deck,” he said.

Pardo Sanchez said the program has already approved applications for several projects, including “Wear Your Art DIY Fashion Lab,” which provides a space for students to refashion old clothes.

“I think the underlying vision as well here was to challenge our consumerist, throwaway culture in a very small way,” added Thomas Bernhardt-Lanier, an Adams tutor and the creator of the project.

He said the application process was “all really, really smooth,” adding that he hopes “more students take advantage of this.”

Hannah B. Swift ’26 said she intends to launch a clothing swap in the Adams courtyard thanks to AWOC’s funding later this month.

Swift said the idea of a clothing swap stemmed from the prevalence of “senior sales,” an end-of-semester tradition where seniors advertise unwanted clothes to younger members of their residential house at discounted prices.

“If your senior sale fails, don’t throw all your clothes out. Put them in some bins, and then we’ll wash them for you. We’ll do everything for you,” Swift said.

“It's promoting both accessibility and equity, and then also sustainability,” she added.

Swift said the AWOC grants give students freedom to proactively launch their own climate-related projects.

“If you notice a change that you want made, you can be the one to do it, which is really exciting,” she said.

In the press release, Becerra also emphasized the flexibility and “bottom-up approach” of the program.

“In the spirit of our House motto, alteri seculo, we hope this initiative will plant a thousand trees that grow into a forest of climate solutions,” she wrote.

Correction: April 23, 2024

A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Santiago Pardo Sanchez was a resident dean at Adams House. In fact, Pardo Sanchez is a resident tutor.

—Staff writer Xinni (Sunshine) Chen can be reached at Follow her on X @sunshine_cxn.

—Staff writer Christie E. Beckley can be reached at Follow her on X @cbeckley22.