Austin Schuler

2017 Recipient of the Clyde and Mildred Wright Endowment Scholarship for $3,000 per year for three years, valued at $12,000


My career objective is to care for and protect the environment while educating others to do the same. I grew up in Swain County. A couple of years ago, I had the opportunity to intern as a park ranger in The Great Smoky Mountains National Park. While interning, I realized how much I loved doing research and collecting data that could be used to solve environmental problems. I also learned how much of an impact we humans have on the environment, and it was far greater than I thought. We are capable of destroying this world, and it is the only one we have, so it is our responsibility to protect it. However, many people do not realize just how important it is that we protect and care for our environment. After my internship, I felt it was my responsibility to educate people who don’t know how to care for the environment, and to protect it myself. On my last day interning, the park superintendent gave a speech saying that my fellow interns and I are now ambassadors for the environment, and that stewardship of the natural world has to be a group effort.

I have chosen Environmental Sciences as my major because I will be able to use the information I gain to become a better steward and a stronger environmentalist. I plan to attend a four year, in-state university that offers this major and has an exceptional natural science program. While in college, I plan to work hard to maintain excellent grades as I have in high school, and I plan to graduate summa cum laude. I will pursue excellence while preparing myself for an environmental career

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