Welcome to Building Better

Hello and welcome to Building Better - the Resilience Youth Network’s new online publication.

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Hello and welcome to Building Better – the Resilience Youth Network’s new online publication. This publication will cover all things related to the future of development in relation to climate change resiliency. We believe and advocate for a future that is resilient, sustainable, equitable, and accessible.


Our Mission

These posts will focus on discussing climate resiliency from all angles, including responses to everything from past disasters, current climate research, and future building plans. Our 2022-2023 writing staff is composed of disaster experts, law students, engineers, teachers, construction managers, students, and others who seek to grow on our journeys in the resilience space by using our individual skills and interests to inform and inspire our readers. In addition to publishing posts written by our staff, we encourage others to submit their own submissions for review and possible publication.


This is a space that we hope will excite you, teach you, and welcome you. Although our team is spread across thousands of miles, we would like to acknowledge that our writers are working on native lands that were the original homes of the Nacotchtank, Piscataway, Seminole, Miccosukee, Lenapehoking, Algonquin, Miwok, and Kizh tribes. We cannot look forward towards a resilient and sustainable future without acknowledging and respecting the peoples who were the original stewards of the land we will be discussing.


Our Motivation

Each of us have decided to be a part of this publication because we strongly believe that every small action counts. Many people are led to believe that something is only successful or important if it has a large, long-lasting impact. But despite the common narrative, grandiosity isn’t the metric of success. Everything we do has the ability to make a difference, and if this blog can inform or inspire one other person, then it is worth the effort. 


We strive to do good with what we have and try our best for the small piece of the universe we get to be a part of, working to leave it a little better than we found it. To plunge forward with this goal means putting in our own time, unlearning things we have been taught, and stubbornly persisting to make change despite a lack of visible progress. But the impact of even the smallest of actions cannot be understated; everything we do can help improve the world around us, small step by small step. 


Parting Thoughts

Our readers, contributors, and members help to drive us all forward. The doors you open, the connections you make, and the change you spark is powerful. None of us have the ideal solution or a magic wand that fixes everything, but we come together with a shared desire to work to make a difference. Here at Building Better, we hope to ignite that curiosity and desire to know a bit more, in hopes you continue to make those next steps in your journey with us.


-The Building Better Editorial Team

The 2022-23 Building Better Editorial Team is composed of Samantha Cristol (she/her), Editor in Chief; A’lycia Headley (she/her), Editor; and Alyssa Yu (she/her), Editor.

Samantha Cristol is a second year law student at Georgetown University Law Center. She received her undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, and spent three years working in the construction management industry in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is passionate about environmental justice and building a world where the natural and built environments coexist in healthy and meaningful ways.

Alyssa Yu is an environmental engineer in Los Angeles, where her field practice focuses on planning, designing, and constructing green stormwater infrastructure. She received her undergraduate degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from UC Berkeley, where she and her friends also started an environmental justice student organization called Socially Engaged Engineers (SEE), with a mission to start conversations among students and professionals about the deep-rooted interconnectedness of engineering with sociopolitical issues. Alyssa is most passionate about implementing natural water treatment systems and other ways to make clean water accessible through smarter, sustainable, and more equitable practices.

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