Volunteering at the Holden Arboretum

The summer before my senior year I worked more than 80 hours at the Holden Arboretum. I was a volunteer horticulturalist meaning I worked in plant propagation, garden management and maintenance, and volunteer organization. I worked in the Holden Science Center with endangered species, while working on a strategy to ensure the survival of the Ohio Ecosystem. Due to the issue of rampant deer populations, invasive species have been able to push out native plants in the area. 

Working at the Arboretum lead me to do everything from perform "surgery" on trees, to learning how to drive stick shift. I was proudest of my work in the 'Ponderosa Pines' tree area. I used the 120 ft observation tower to spot trees suffering from over buried roots. When I spotted them, we blasted the dirt with an air knife and cut away at the dead roots; eliminating the dead roots while uncovering the live ones gave the trees a chance to live.

Every Wednesday, I was in charge of the 'Dirt Devils'. It was a group of volunteers who worked from 9am to 11:30am once a week and ranged from age 79-94. While making sure they had plenty to do, weren't standing in poison ivy, and didn't overheat, I was able to forge closer friendships with all of them. I learned the 'service' within service, while I was helping keep the Arboretum functional and beautiful, I was also being an ear for the stories, life lessons, and wisdom the elderly volunteers wanted to pass on. 

Playing the National Anthem

Since 8th grade, I have played the national anthem on the trumpet over 148 times; I've played at football games, funerals, and community events. I am proud to represent my friends, my school, and the people of the United States of America.