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2020 Scholarship Winners – Grace Adams & Gracie Mejia

Requirements were:  Submit either a 500-750 word written essay  or a 3-5 minute video on the topic “Where I see my life 10 years from now.” 

Grace Adams – Walden Grove High School

Ten years from now our world will be very different. My past ten years were spent learning and growing into the ambitious young adult I am now, and the next ten years hold just as much promise despite the current global situation. In the midst of a pandemic and its unforeseeable toll on our lives, hopes are dampened as plans for the future are postponed and cancelled. However, I remain determined and optimistic as I finish my final weeks of high school from the kitchen table.

In the next decade I plan to attend college and earn at least a bachelor’s degree. My career goals are focused on helping our society recognize the impact of our unsustainable habits on our planet. My current major is Environmental Science, and I hope to use the degree I get in that field to continue on to law school, with aims to work in environmental law and/or policy. While I am aware that my major may shift within my subject area, I am confident that my end goal is attainable and realistic. Environmental advocacy, consulting, litigating, and policymaking are all key pieces in changing the habits of heavily polluting companies and production processes that greatly contribute to climate change. I am also interested in a career with the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Resources Defense Council, and the Environmental Working Group should the opportunity arise to work with any of them. I also have the option of considering starting my own law firm or advocacy organization. Taking a dual enrollment University of Arizona class that is focused on ethics, economies and entrepreneurship, has spurred my interest in being a business owner. Although entrepreneurship is a risk, I am learning about the safest ways to start and run a business. Because Environmental Law is a large field with many areas of specialization, there are multiple departments within government agencies as well as private agencies that value a focus in a specific locale of environmental issues. I have yet to determine precisely what area of work I would like to specialize in but upon researching various routes environmental lawyers utilize, I am confident that I would have no problem specifying once I am exposed to my options.

In addition to interests in natural sciences and law, I enjoy learning about philosophy, foreign languages and cultures, economics, and to a degree, politics. Throughout the next ten years I hope to further develop these interests and continue to participate in interests I have developed so far in life. Volunteering is something I value greatly, as a result of influential experiences volunteering with various groups throughout high school such as the National Honors Society, the Tri-M Music Honor Society and the Rotary Interact Club. I plan to continue volunteering in my community for the rest of my life, not only within the next ten years. While in college I plan to volunteer through both on campus organizations such as the Soil, Water, and Environmental Science Club, the Environmental Awareness Society, Defend Our Future, and the Biology and Earth Science Club as well as off campus organizations such as the Community Food Bank, the Citizens Climate Lobby and the Pima County Teen Court, and upon completion of secondary school I plan to continue with organizations in my community regardless of where that will be.

Academically by the year 2030, or thereabouts, I plan to have completed secondary school to a point that aids me in finding suitable and enjoyable employment. While ambition in academics and my career is a trait I possess, I also possess a desire to have a family and provide for them as well as I can, and I am willing to make sacrifices to ensure that they are safe and healthy. I would prefer to have a position in an environmental advocacy program, or a position in a law firm, but as long as I have a job that pays for my family’s bills I will be content. There is more to life than a six-figure income, and I am determined to satisfy both my professional goals, and my personal goals.

Gracie Mejia – Sahuarita High School