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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - Ingleside, Chicago, Illinois, USA

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Ingleside, Chicago, Illinois, USA
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Registered: November 2013
City/Town/Province: Chicago
Posts: 1
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Imagine this. An African-American female from an urban background with an interest of biology and the only person in her family that is most likely to go to college. Not many youth that I know actually care for science because of how difficult and confusing it could be. Although science is challenging, it fits with how I try to understand the world. For instance, in my daily life I always ask the “why’s” and “how’s” because that is the only way I will comprehend. Whether I’m at school, a job, or even making an observation, I will keep gathering more knowledge. My curiosity of biology began at age twelve, when I stayed home daily during summer break because of my desire to watch re-runs of Animal Planet’s The Most Extreme. Seeing such a diversity of organisms with a variety of traits – physically and mentally – left me with an indescribable feeling. I felt like I have been living under a rock and wondered why this was not taught at my grammar school. Also, I was inspired and wanted to become someone who studied those animals or even uncovered ones.
During my high school years, I became more aware of the natural environment. In the summer of 2011, I started to participate in the after school job readiness program at the Gary Comer Youth Center called Green Teens. This summer program allows teenagers (ages 15-18) to learn about the environment by growing produce and flowers. Green Teens promotes character building amongst its participants through urban agriculture initiatives in and improving the Southside Chicago food desert community which it is a part of. A food desert is a low-income community that lacks local grocery stores, but instead has a lot of corner stores filled with junk food. Every Friday, the Green Teens host a Harvest Table to sell ripe and blooming products. Any left-over produce, such as potatoes, tomatoes, kale, or apple-mint, will be given to a local food pantry down the street. A food pantry is an organization that helps those in need with necessities, such as food & toiletries.
This past summer, my third as a Green Teen, I had an unbelievable opportunity and enlightening experience to research and study geology/soil science with two professors from DePaul University. The program, Discover DePaul, I learned intriguing things about soil, how to classify different types, how to infiltrate soil, and how to test different concentrations of chemicals (such as Lead or Phosphate) in soil samples. This experience completely changed my views on dirt and how critical it could determine a plant’s life.
This program played a huge role of allowing me to be more in-touch with the nature surrounding me and to gain a new appreciation for my community. Not only am I helping to promote healthy diets and life styles. I’m also helping my community in the name of science. Also, These experiences (both Discover DePaul and Green Teens), along with my knowledge/skills from it, will be useful during my college years and in internships. Now, I have been with Green Teens for 3 summers.
I believe that Discover DePaul, Green Teens, and Animal Planet, all played a role of intensifying my interest in science in general. It opened my eyes and made me view Earth differently, as in breath-taking. It seems the more I learn about the natural world, the more impatient I get to be able to become that research biologist I always dreamed of. I strongly feel that your scholarship will most likely help me achieve my ambitious dreams and goals. With amazing fields of science, I will perfectly fit in and actively contribute to the science community. Most importantly, I think I will have fun doing so, knowing that college has a lively campus full with eager and amazing professors who breathe science everyday – not just out of a textbook.
· Date: November 24, 2013 · Views: 1916 · File size: 27.8kb, 890.2kb · : 2380 x 2380 ·
Hours Volunteered: 4,800
Volunteers: 30
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 15-18
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