September 22, 2018

Excited for Environmental Opportunities

Aaron Saliman, 18
High School: Milken Community Schools
Going to: UC Berkeley

When Aaron Saliman heads to UC Berkeley this fall, he’ll be coming full circle. Born in San Francisco, his family moved to Los Angeles when he was 4.

“I’m really excited to go to Berkeley, partially because it’s an entirely huge change of pace from small, private Jewish schools in Los Angeles, but also because of what I’m going to be studying,” said Saliman in a phone interview. He plans to study environmental economics and policy.

Saliman considers himself an environmentalist and an activist, and he is thrilled to be able to explore his interests academically.

“A lot of the time when I tell people the major I want to go into, they’re like, “So you really want to change the world?” And I’m like, “Yes, of course I want to move our world to a more sustainable path.”  

Saliman said he hopes to eventually join an organization such as the National Resources Defense Council or the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He would like to “help institute policy or analyze the economy or something that will help us get a better understanding of global climate change, and then help us combat it.”

Saliman, who said he wanted to be a creative writing major “for the longest time,” has earned three national and four regional gold medals from the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. He attended the Iowa Young Writers Workshop in summer 2016, the Kenyon Review Young Writers summer program in 2017, and two sessions of the four-week California State Summer School for the Arts in 2016 and 2017. He was also named one of Ventura Boulevard magazine’s Top Teens: 10 to Watch.

“Writing is my biggest passion,” he said. However, his practical side tells him he needs to do more to “support a family, make money and survive. So I will be continuing creative writing for fun and for my own personal fulfillment.” 

He also plans to continue his passion for playing guitar, which he has been doing for the past six years. 

“ ‘So you really want to change the world?’ ” people ask me. And I’m like, ‘Yes, of course
I want to move our world to a more sustainable path.’ ”  

This summer, Saliman plans to teach creative writing to children and also focus on enjoying his time at home, getting the most out of Los Angeles, his friends and family before heading off to school.

Spending his summer this way also dovetails with his philosophy of being around people who are genuinely kind to one another. 

 “I wish there was more of a stress in our society and in ourselves to just be nice people,” he said. “It’s a really cliché thing, but it’s been one of my biggest beliefs lately.”

These are important beliefs to hold onto, he said, because, “It’s very easy to get lost when you’re talking about things like climate change and these big ideas of writing and music. Everything I take part in [involves] big nebulous ideas, and it’s easy to lose the individual. I think by maintaining empathy and basic human kindness it will help us on all levels of human development.” n

“I’m really excited to go to Berkeley, partially because it’s an entirely huge change of pace from small, private Jewish schools in Los Angeles, but also because of what I’m going to be studying,” said Saliman in a phone interview. He plans to study environmental economics and policy.

Saliman considers himself an environmentalist and an activist, and he is thrilled to be able to explore his interests academically.

“A lot of the time when I tell people the major I want to go into, they’re like, “So you really want to change the world?” And I’m like, “Yes, of course I want to move our world to a more sustainable path.”  

Saliman said he hopes to eventually join an organization such as the National Resources Defense Council or the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He would like to “help institute policy or analyze the economy or something that will help us get a better understanding of global climate change, and then help us combat it.”

Saliman, who said he wanted to be a creative writing major “for the longest time,” has earned three national and four regional gold medals from the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. He attended the Iowa Young Writers Workshop in summer 2016, the Kenyon Review Young Writers summer program in 2017, and two sessions of the four-week California State Summer School for the Arts in 2016 and 2017. He was also named one of Ventura Boulevard magazine’s Top Teens: 10 to Watch.

“Writing is my biggest passion,” he said. However, his practical side tells him he needs to do more to “support a family, make money and survive. So I will be continuing creative writing for fun and for my own personal fulfillment.” 

He also plans to continue his passion for playing guitar, which he has been doing for the past six years. 

This summer, Saliman plans to teach creative writing to children and also focus on enjoying his time at home, getting the most out of Los Angeles, his friends and family before heading off to school.

Spending his summer this way also dovetails with his philosophy of being around people who are genuinely kind to one another. 

 “I wish there was more of a stress in our society and in ourselves to just be nice people,” he said. “It’s a really cliché thing, but it’s been one of my biggest beliefs lately.”

These are important beliefs to hold onto, he said, because, “It’s very easy to get lost when you’re talking about things like climate change and these big ideas of writing and music. Everything I take part in [involves] big nebulous ideas, and it’s easy to lose the individual. I think by maintaining empathy and basic human kindness it will help us on all levels of human development.”