Natalie is looking forward to attending the University of Colorado Boulder’s Engineering Honors Program to study Environmental Engineering. She hopes to become an environmental engineer and travel the world working on engineering projects. “Each country has its own unique problems for environmental engineers to solve, so I hope to learn more about different problems around the world. I would like to specialize in water resources engineering so I can help design solutions for water pollution, sanitation and public health.”
While in Boulder, Natalie would love to volunteer with her favorite nonprofit organization, Protect Our Winters (POW). “POW was started by Jeremy Jones, a professional snowboarder, whose goal was to raise awareness about climate change and the ways it is impacting winter sports,” said Natalie. “One of my role models, Jessie Diggins who is an Olympic gold medalist in Nordic skiing works alongside POW, and seeing all the incredible work they are doing is very inspiring.”
As a member of the RHS Green Team, she is proud of the accomplishments the group has had this year. “As a club, we have led a clothes drive within the community, sold stickers to raise funds for our club, started an aquaponics system in our greenhouse, and raised awareness about energy usage and sustainability for Earth Day,” she said. “I'm proud of the Green Team and the conscious efforts everyone has started making at RHS around sustainability.”
Outside of school, Natalie is involved with tennis, cross country running, nordic skiing and track and field. She also has a passion for art, and enjoys painting, jewelry making and pottery. This summer, she’s looking forward to swimming, kayaking and relaxing in her hammock—and eating ice cream and acai bowls with friends!
If Natalie could travel to any time period, she would go back to 1970 and participate in the first Earth Day. “It would be so powerful to be able to attend this movement as it was one of the first times that a large group of people rallied around the issue of climate change. From there I would continue to advocate for more sustainability efforts to be put in place to try and reduce the impact of climate change before it gets to the point we are at now.”
Her advice to freshmen: “Join clubs right away! I didn't join any clubs until my sophomore year and I wish I would've joined them sooner because I met a lot of people and was given a lot of opportunities.”