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Gabriel Marra-Perrault


Bold Points




As a student and young person, I am passionate about the environment and the interactions between humans and nature. I would love to have the opportunity to conduct research in biological or ecological fields and hopefully make a difference in environmental science.


Montgomery Blair High School

High School
2020 - 2024


  • Desired degree level:

    Bachelor's degree program

  • Majors of interest:

    • Zoology/Animal Biology
    • Marine Sciences
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Environmental Services

    • Dream career goals:



      2010 – 202313 years


      • Maryland State Cup Champion
      Inguz Memorial Scholarship
      I peer over the edge of the wooden dock and spot the craggy head of a behemoth swimming less than ten feet away. It glides along the surface of the water, revealing a frame of muscle and scales that commands the water with an eerie confidence. Dizzy with excitement and fear, I lock eyes with the predator. It is my first time seeing the American alligator, or Alligator mississipiensis, in its natural habitat. Just a few hours before I had been in the French Quarter of New Orleans, surrounded by purple beads, street artists, and bustling shops filled with tourists looking for po-boys and beignets. Now I was worlds away, face to face with the closest thing there is to a living, breathing dinosaur. And the life seeping through the reeds and Spanish moss of the bayou draws me in far more than the artificial color and noise of the city ever had. I grew up around the storied remains of creatures long extinct, fossils of dinosaurs and mammals that captured my imagination as they lay frozen in history in the Smithsonian museums of Washington DC. Halls of taxidermied creatures piqued my interest and led me to read books and watch shows about their history and evolution. As a kid, I watched the BBC miniseries “Walking with Dinosaurs”, and wanted more than anything to be able to walk with Brontosaurus and interact with these beautiful and mysterious creatures that existed only on screen. The more I learned about wildlife, the more passionate I became about the natural world. As I’ve gotten older, this passion has driven me to keep looking for nature- from flipping rocks for salamanders, to searching for whales in the Pacific Ocean, to sifting through sand while searching for fossils on the coast of my home state of Maryland. These experiences turned into a necessary remedy for intense brain fog and dissociation, which separated me from reality for large portions of time. The world around me didn't feel real, like I was watching my own life from afar. As intense academics, athletics, and internal struggles threatened to overwhelm me, these moments in nature became a vital respite. My most valuable experiences in nature, however, have come from visiting family in my mom’s home state of Louisiana. The bayou is shrouded in mystery and hidden by thick fog, acidic waters filled with the dissolved remains of minerals and life. Much like my hunts for shark teeth and imaginary childhood adventures in the Jurassic, my search for alligators brings a sense of connection to the past and present while offering insight into understanding myself and my future. My passion for the natural world weaves through my identity- nothing is more impactful than experiencing nature in person - finding snakes, raccoons or the occasional fox. But to me, there’s something about the alligator, a creature that has thrived on the planet for millions of years, showing quiet strength and resilience. I have spent countless car rides through rural Louisiana with my face pressed up against the window, scanning under bridges, on top of submerged logs for anything reminiscent of an alligator. Sometimes I see them, and sometimes I don’t. But I have come to realize that it is the search that is important. I am still trying to figure out exactly who I am and what I want to be, but I now feel a sense of calm knowing that it will be ok. Like the alligator, I am resilient and adaptable. I try my best to live in the moment, to drift along and command the water around me.