College/University Planning to Attend (If undecided, what schools are you considering)
St. Olaf College
Major/Program (If undecided, what majors/areas of interest are you considering)
Biology with an environmental focus
Highest ACT Composite Score
What is something in your life that you are passionate about (love or enjoy doing)and how might that affect your future career choices?
As a general objective, I hope to find a balance between the many parts of life that always seem to demand full attention. To find time for family, a career, and the activities one enjoys is by no means an easy feat, but I believe a large step in this direction comes from finding a meaningful profession. I see the most meaning in a career where I work to preserve the environment and take care of the natural world, especially forests.
In school, science has always fascinated me, most likely as a result of being raised in an outdoorsy family and living next to and working on farms. In my sophomore year of high school, I had the opportunity to take our school’s advanced placement biology course. I was hesitant upon entering this class, as I thought physics held more of an interest for my mechanically oriented mind, but through the next school year of learning about the processes occurring in living organisms everywhere, it inspired within me a passion for the field of biology. My initial concern almost immediately abated as I learned that biology holds a vast amount of physical processes and that they are often more relevant, at least in my perspective, than those of the hypothetical frictionless vacuum in which so much of physics takes place. With the guidance of an incredible teacher, AP biology showed me that nature is beautiful in its complexity from an external lens right down to the microscopic level, and I believe that this intricacy is too often taken for granted – in our current environmental predicaments especially.
I live next to the Standing Cedars land preservation, and going on hikes through its vast wilderness is my main form of stress relief. To be able to stroll and witness the beauty of nature all around me is really a profound experience every time. That life is tenacious enough to inhabit every space of the outdoors to is truly incredible. Life is everywhere from the salamanders scurrying under the leaf detritus to the deer observe me quietly for a minute before gracefully bounding away through the trees. The vibrant, interwoven diversity and intelligence of nature has made its impact on me, and I am intensely motivated to do my part to preserve it, both for the sake of the environment itself and so that future generations of kids can have the opportunity to partake nature as I have.
Climate change, I believe, is the most important issue of our time, and deserves to have as much attention devoted to it as possible. By way of convoluted synchronicity, the scope of this global crisis is a perfect intersection of what fascinates me and what I believe needs to be addressed, and therefore I believe that I would find great meaning and interest in a career tackling the issues presented by climate change. I have yet to decide whether I would like to contribute to this field in the realm of research, or in a less direct way. As I mentioned previously, I have found teaching to be a very rewarding experience, and even though the change I could make as a professor of environmental biology might be less direct, it would give me the opportunity to have an impact on so many bright young minds who could each go their own way in working towards solutions on environmental issues.
Regardless of the specifics, I hope to get a degree in this field and do my part to preserve the natural world. Even if humans could find a way to survive without nature as it is now, that is the extent of what it would be: surviving. We would miss out on the power and wonder of life beyond the human species, and I believe that working to maintain a world where future generations can partake in nature’s magnificence is a truly worthy cause to devote oneself, through both community service and career.
I am vice president of the Environmental Club of Osceola, a student-run organization that does local volunteer work that pertains to the betterment of the environment. Through this, we have put many hours into assisting with the prairie restoration projects going on in Standing Cedars, a land preservation in Osceola. We have also volunteered at Interstate park, the Horst Rechelbacher farm, and various other local organizations. Beyond the direct good that this work does, I would argue that an even more lasting impact is made on the lives of those in the club. We learn to think about the ramifications that our actions will have on the natural world around us.
At Osceola, membership in our Chapter of the National Honor Society is primarily dependent on volunteer work. This year I am the president of this group and have helped to organize a food drive, Christmas caroling at nursing homes, and a Red Cross blood drive at our school.
Volunteer Hours Throughout High School
|Fridays between 12/1/2017 and 4/13/2017||Volunteering at Osceola Middle School jazz band practices||Sara McLain
|10/21/2017||Honey bee conference at Horst Rechelbacher farm.||U of M Bee Squad
|10/22/2017||Halloween themed Canned foods drive||Tabitha Dodge firstname.lastname@example.org||3|
|11/30/2017||Harvesting prairie seeds in Standing Cedars||Alex Bouthilet email@example.com||2|
|1/20/2018||Volunteered at Feed My Starving Children||Chris Willett
|6/8/2018||Playing piano at Relay For Life New Richmond||Jana Fischer
|6/23/2018||Lupine Harvest in Standing Cedars||Alex Bouthilet firstname.lastname@example.org||2|
|6/30/2018||Festival Theatre volunteering for “Fantastiks”||Tabitha Dodge email@example.com||4|
|8/24/2018||Blazing Star Harvest in Standing Cedars||Alex Bouthilet firstname.lastname@example.org||1.5|
|10/6/2018||Festival Theatre Autumn Fest||Tabitha Dodge email@example.com||1|
|10/12/2018||seed picking in Standing Cedars||Alex Bouthilet firstname.lastname@example.org||2|
|10/13/2018||Haunted Trail canned goods drive||Tabitha Dodge email@example.com||3|
|10/20/2018||Festival Theatre volunteering for “Little Women”||Tabitha Dodge firstname.lastname@example.org||4|
|10/31/2018||Trick or Treating for canned goods||Chris Willet
|11/9/2018||Veteran’s Day Dinner at Osceola Community Church||Larry Mederich email@example.com||2|
|12/9/2018||Festival Theatre Holiday Dance Party||Tabitha Dodge firstname.lastname@example.org||2|
|12/16/2018||Festival Theatre volunteering for “Miracle on 34th Street”||Tabitha Dodge email@example.com||4|
|1/12/2019||Racked weights at Osceola Powerlifting Meet||Jeff Hahn
|1/19/2019||Volunteered at Feed My Starving Children||Chris Willett
|2/14/2019||Festival Theatre Valentines Day Program||Tabitha Dodge firstname.lastname@example.org||1|
|2/14/2019||Interstate Night Hike preparation||Matthew Densow email@example.com||1|
|4/19/2019||Prairie seed planting in Standing Cedars||Alex Bouthilet firstname.lastname@example.org||1|
|10/6/2019||Clearing invasive species in Interstate park||Alex Bouthilet
|10/19/2019||Volunteered at the Strong for Jordan community event to help Jordan Braund’s family||Peg Medcraft
|6/26/2019||Petitioning for Environmental Protection||Dan Guenthner
|6/24/2019||Petitioning for Environmental Protection||Dan Guenthner
|12/7/2019||Worked the refreshments table at a Horst Rechelbacher farm wildlife event.||Beth Friedrichsen
|1/11/2020||Racked weights that the Osceola powerlifting meet||Jeff Hahn
|1/18/2020||Volunteered at Feed My Starving Children||Amanda Wicklund
|1/18/2020||Played drums for the grand opening of the Pizza Cellar in Osceola||Art Aytay
|2/16/2020||Set up candles at Interstate Night Hike||Lacy Sellent
Each year, I prepare an alto saxophone solo for solo and ensemble and have received first ratings at the state level for the past three years.
I have played piano in a regional honors jazz band for the past four years.
The summer following my sophomore year, I participated in the Shell Lake jazz camp and was the pianist for the second jazz ensemble.
For the past four summers, I have been a member of the Osceola High School Marching Band, which practices twice a week in the summer and performs at parades all around the area.
Music is my primary outlet for expression; sometimes a song is capable of saying what words cannot. I dedicate a large portion of my free time to writing and recording my own music by layering tracks of piano, drums, guitar, bass, saxophone, and vocals over each other to create the sound of a full band.
I have played soccer since elementary school and was the captain of the varsity boys soccer team here in Osceola this past fall. This involved leading captains practices over the summer and helping new players make the connections with the team that are so vital for success in a sport.
Since freshman year, I have played doubles on the Osceola varsity tennis team. Since last year, my doubles partner and I have been team captains, a role that has also involved leading captain practices and working towards team cohesion.
Although neither of these teams has seen particular success, in my view, the friendships forged through the experience are more important than any amount of winning could have been.
I worked on Foxtail Farm, an organic vegetable farm, the summers after my freshman and sophomore year of high school. This farm is directly across the road from where I live, so I grew up volunteering there once a week in the summers since age seven. When they actually hired me, I was well acquainted with most of the responsibilities, which include planting seed, transplanting infant plants, hand weeding, hoeing, cultivating with a tractor, harvesting the ripe produce, then processing it; tasks such as washing and packaging, before it is sold.
Last summer, Foxtail Farm went out of business, and I worked at Common Harvest Farm instead, a very similar operation, and my job there consisted of many of the same capacities. I have learned so much about sustainability in agriculture through these experiences, and will be more conscientious of my decisions when purchasing food in the future.
For the past two years, I have worked at the Osceola Middle School with their marching band during their summer school for the past two years. I teach individual and small group instrument lessons, do some directing of the full band and carry out any other tasks that need doing, such as running off copies and re-arranging music.