"I have observed the power of being one of many - which has given me much hope for the future of my community and the environment in which we live." This quote is by Isabella Butzer, this year's Senior Service Scholarship recipient. She understands the power of collective effort to tackle environmental and societal issues, and channels this in her passion for conservation and sustainability efforts.
Isabella is a senior at Classen School of Advanced Studies, where her leadership roles have included Student Council President, Earth Club President, Varsity Cross Country Captain, and more. In addition to her school extracurriculars, Isabella has volunteered time with the OKC Beautiful Teen Board and the Oklahoma City Zoo Junior Curator program, where she has volunteered more than 400 hours during the past four years.
In her volunteer service with the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Gardens, Isabella grew in her interest for environmental issues and conservation and sustainability. She has learned how to tube snakes for medical examinations, aided in veterinary examinations, helped restrain a bamboo shark while standing in a pool of stingrays, and learned a significant amount about wildlife conservation and preservation of natural habitats.
One of Isabella's primary leadership roles at Classen SAS is as the Earth Club President. In this role, she has organized monthly litter clean ups, community garden events, propagated plants that line the school's windows, and helped create the school's first compost system. They also work to coordinate informational sessions about environmental topics.
"While as individuals we can make an impact on our community and the environment in which we live, we can make the most change when we are able to lead and educate others about the topics that affect us all," Isabella said.
This has been a guiding ideal as she works to share her passion for the environment with her classmates and the community.