Who We Are


Mary Catherine Hanafee LaPlante

Founder and President

Mary Catherine is a senior at Prospect High School in Mount Prospect, Illinois. She founded Speak Up Green Up because she believes that our future depends on the decisions made now to mitigate the harmful effects of climate change on the world. Mary Catherine is the co-finance director for the IL Youth Climate Movement, captain of her school's Varsity Science Olympiad team, and was an intern at the US Environmental Protection Agency in 2019. In addition to her work with Speak Up Green Up, she is partnering with the IL School Counselor Association to improve student-counselor relations in District 214 and serves on the board of directors for She Votes IL, a female-centered PAC. Mary Catherine also founded the Harvard VISION club at her school, which teaches leadership through community service. For her work, Mary Catherine has been recognized as a 2019 HERlead fellow, 2020 Disney Dreamer, 2020 Ashoka STEM for Changemaking Winner, and Cameron Impact Scholarship Finalist. In her free time, she enjoys playing softball and lacrosse, running, sleeping, and spending time with her friends and family.