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Scholarships

Changing the world - one plant at a time

March 02, 2020
Devin Calpo

Devin earned a $4,000 renewable scholarship to study at Virginia Wesleyan University. He wants people to take care of the planet, and one way is through learning how to care for and preserve the environment.

Devin Calpo believes we can change the world, our families and our community – one plant at a time.

The Virginia Wesleyan University freshman has a green thumb, and now it is getting even better thanks to all he learns with his double major in biology and earth environmental sciences.

Devin earned a $4,000 renewable scholarship from the Hampton Roads Community Foundation, from the Joseph E. Harry and Bertha White Harry Fund. He graduated from Maury High School in Norfolk.

“Earth currently is the only place we have,” he said. “We have a deep connection with the earth. It’s our home.”

Devin, who grew up in the Norview area of Norfolk, wants people to take care of the planet, and one way is through learning how to care for and preserve the environment.

“As a society, if we were to change a lot of the things with our current system, we could move forward,” he said.

Greenhouses, recycling and gardening are a few examples, he said.

Veganism is another, and Devin has been vegan since mid-2019.

“The hardest part was the first week,” he said laughing and discussing his cravings.

Devin chose the plant-based diet because it helps reduce risks of heart disease and diabetes, both of which have affected the health of his relatives.

“The environmental aspect of veganism is also a factor,” he said. “It allows you to look back on things and reflect.”

Devin loves the salad bar at the university and encourages his friends to try different vegan foods.

Once Devin graduates from Virginia Wesleyan, he plans to devote his time to permaculture, which is a lifestyle, land-use and design process based on natural ecosystems, agriculture and the environment.

“It helps me solve complex global challenges, particularly as it relates to water,” Devin said.

When he is not hitting the books, you can find Devin in the garden. He loves planting vegetables and local natives as well as tulips, sunflowers and daises, bok choy, and kale.

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