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Paige Rude


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I am passionate about wildlife and conservation. I love photography, music, my family, and making connections with people.


Nathan Hale High School

High School
2020 - 2024


  • Desired degree level:

    Master's degree program

  • Majors of interest:

    • Zoology/Animal Biology
    • Environmental/Natural Resources Management and Policy
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Environmental Services

    • Dream career goals:




      2021 - Present3 years


      • Washington State Academic Award


      2021 - Present3 years
      Carol S. Comeau Environmental Scholarship
      A refreshing gust of wind grazed my face as the sun peeked out from behind the clouds and landed on my back. All I could see for miles was rolling, forested green hills. The smell of fresh pine trees was heavenly. There's nothing quite like sitting on a rock after a long hike and gazing at the scenery. Unfortunately, it's not a realistic goal to hope to be on top of a mountain every day. Thankfully, nature is everywhere; even if it's just a single tree, or a pigeon fluttering around the city. That is why AP Environmental Science was by far my favorite class I've ever taken. I loved going outside multiple times a week and collecting data from the creek next to my school. Even if it was raining, being outside was better than sitting in a concrete building for an hour. The best part was when the class would walk across the street to Meadowbrook Pond. Although my school is in a dense suburban/urban area, this pond was brimming with wildlife. Ducks, geese, frogs, and if you’re lucky you might see a blue heron or a beaver. Being in nature and studying the environment is one of the few activities that is both self-fulfilling and productive in helping the world. Other passions of mine such as playing guitar or being part of sports teams are meaningful too - they are great ways to connect with people and make a lasting impact. However, being in nature can do those things too, and protecting our natural environment has an even greater lasting impact than human connection on its own. Every person has positive experiences with nature, whether it’s sitting atop a mountain, watching a shimmering golden sunset, seeing a herd of deer grazing in a meadow, or a flock of birds flying in formation. Nature is something that not only unites us all with one another but unites us with our planet. Our connection with nature and our natural environment is part of what makes us human. Due to human-caused climate change, species populations are decreasing and nearing extinction. Forests are burning more than ever before. Climate change is no longer merely affecting wildlife, it negatively affects us too. As a society, we are constantly seeing news about climate change, whether it's an article, on TV, or in our classes. Even though we are constantly being fed this news, it feels distant. Polar ice caps are melting, but that's far away - it won't affect me. Global temperatures are rising but it's only a few degrees - that's not that much. These kinds of misconceptions are everywhere. I want to not only be involved in helping protect our world but also to help people open their eyes to what is happening in ways they can understand and sympathize with. Especially legislators and leaders in big corporations who are contributing substantially to carbon emissions. That's why I want to be involved in the field of environmental science.