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All TCU. All the time.

TCU 360

Delaney Vega, a TCU journalism junior, is painting a school in Belize. (Courtesy of Teja Sieber)
“The week of joy”: Christ Chapel College’s annual trip to Belize
By Ella Schamberger, Staff Writer
Published Apr 23, 2024
174 students, a record number, went on this year's trip.

A student quests to make the earth “One Shade Greener”

One+Shade+Greener+partners+with+SGA+to+clean+Worth+Hills+Pond.+%28Photo+Courtesy+of+Katie+Hoang%29
Katie Hoang
One Shade Greener partners with SGA to clean Worth Hills Pond. (Photo Courtesy of Katie Hoang)

Mark Sayegh cultivated his passion for environmental conservation in college.

“I started One Shade Greener as a student organization here just partnering with my fraternity for a service project,” he said. “But everyone needs community service hours, so we partner with a lot of the fraternities and sororities.”  

Spencer Lanyon, a sophomore biology major and director of writing and research for One Shade Greener, is committed to encouraging “more college students to know about the practical steps toward sustainability and conservation–creating a world that’s as good for our kids as it is for us.”

Once a month, One Shade Greener volunteers visit the Garden Club at Lily B. Clayton Elementary School in Fort Worth. Members educate children on food sustainability by planting vegetable gardens and doing environmentally-focused worksheets.

Sayegh said he grew up in a big family, so he loves teaching the kids at Lily B. Clayton.

The organization has expanded into six chapters in Texas, Tennessee and soon, Arkansas.

Last year, One Shade Greener collected 5,650 pounds of trash. This year, the goal is 6,600 pounds.

Sayegh’s warm voice rings out, interrupting the silence while he wades through a pond.

“Hey, I’m so glad you could make it,” said Sayegh. He waves his right hand, wrapped in a glove and carries a trash picker decorated with a small One Shade Greener sticker. 

“We found something! We found something!”

Two volunteers shouted out from the kayak anchored at the edge of the pond.

“We have been doing pretty well today,” said Sayegh.   

These are the volunteers of One Shade Greener, an organization dedicated to actively improving the environment through cleaning events, planting vegetable gardens and encouraging sustainability. 

The sophomore biochemistry major’s love for planting vegetable gardens started with his dad “growing potatoes, squash, figs, pears, pomegranates, cucumber and tomato in our backyard… We would eat a salad every night made with ingredients we grew.” 

After earning a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry, Sayegh wants to be an ophthalmologist or a spine surgeon. But that doesn’t mean he’ll stop planting vegetable gardens.

“I’d like to think I’ve got a green thumb, but my dad has the biggest green thumb out of everybody,” said Sayegh. 

Sayegh’s admiration fills the room as he speaks about his dad, Emil.

“I wouldn’t have any interest in composting or conserving rainwater without my dad,” he said. “He always told me to leave this place better than we found it.”

(Photos courtesy of Katie Hoang)

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