In the heart of our alumni community, we find remarkable individuals who have dedicated their lives to making a positive impact on our environment. Mandy (Amanda) Helwig ‘96 has carved an inspiring path as an environmental lawyer and researcher. Her journey from St. Anne's to becoming a catalyst for environmental change is nothing short of impressive.
Mandy's story begins with her transition to the East Coast after her time at St. Anne's. She completed her high school education in New Jersey and subsequently pursued a degree in environmental studies with a policy focus at Middlebury College. It was here that her passion for environmental law began to take shape. She pursued her love for the outdoors, often spending her free time backpacking in the Adirondacks while focusing her academic pursuits on environmental studies. Western water issues, water shortages, and environmental policy became areas of keen interest.
Upon graduation, Mandy continued her educational journey in Boston, attending Northeastern University School of Law, where she gained valuable experience through internships focused on environmental cases and community issues in the Boston area.
After law school, Mandy's career took a pivotal turn as she secured a fellowship with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Her work spanned three years in Boston and three years in Washington, D.C., with a particular focus on litigation, energy issues related to Clean Air Act permitting, hazardous waste cases, and a majority of her time spent on water cases. She spearheaded cases against industrial facilities, municipalities, and mining operations for Clean Water Act violations, furthering her commitment to water conservation and policy.
Following her tenure with the EPA, Mandy joined the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), where she focused on Gulf Coast restoration following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Mandy then returned to Boston and transitioned into the nonprofit sector. Her work has spanned a wide array of critical areas, including ocean conservation, fisheries management, Clean Water Act advocacy, and clean energy initiatives.
What sets Mandy apart is her unwavering commitment to creating lasting, sustainable change. Inspired to address environmental issues at their roots, she began visiting farms, ranches, and fisheries across the United States and abroad. These operations implemented regenerative practices that not only protected the environment but enhanced it. For seven and a half years, Mandy dedicated herself to this cause, focusing on regenerative agriculture, oyster farms, and rotational grazing in ranching to sequester carbon and improve the environment.
Mandy's message to our young alumni and the wider school community is profound. She emphasizes that addressing environmental challenges can be overwhelming, but the key is to focus on local impact. By making daily choices that benefit the environment, everyone can play a role in creating a more sustainable future.
Mandy Helwig's journey from St. Anne's Episcopal School to her impactful career in environmental conservation is a testament to her dedication and passion. She serves as a shining example of how one individual's commitment to the environment can lead to meaningful, lasting change. We are immensely proud to count Mandy among our alumni, and her inspiring story continues to motivate us all to work toward a greener, more sustainable future.