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GHS graduate spotlight: Haley Weed

(Courtesy photo)
GHS graduate Haley Weed is studying environmental science at the University of Vermont.

Meet Haley. Haley Weed graduated GHS in the class of 2022, where the science labs and art rooms of high school led her to pursue science and art at the college level. Haley was accepted into The University of Vermont, a public research university in Burlington, Vermont known especially for their life sciences programs. A longtime artist, Haley is passionate about nature and wildlife, and discovered her love of environmental science in classes and programs funded by GEF. Haley’s social circle was cultivated by her many sports teams, and by the drama program funded by GEF. Her artistic side is just as crucial to her as her STEM side. Haley is entering her sophomore year looking forward to getting into heavier science, more art, and to engaging even more with Mother Nature.

Q. What are you studying in college? 

A. I’m studying environmental science with a concentration in conservation biology and biodiversity. I’m minoring in art, and I’m also minoring in wildlife biology. The environmental science major is very broad, so the college makes you pick a concentration. There are a lot of options, like ecological design, technology-focused ones, etc. I picked conservation biology because it sounded interesting, and I love field work. 

Q. How did you come to the decision to do a double minor?

A. I didn’t know I was going to do an art minor, and then I took my first semester, didn’t take any art classes, and felt deprived. So, I decided to take some art classes, and I realized I could fit an art minor into my schedule, and I thought, why not? The wildlife biology minor happened because I realized I only had to take a few extra classes to complete it, and all the extra classes looked really interesting.

Q. At GHS, what were your extracurriculars and areas of interest?

A. Art was a big one. I took one of Ms. Cerrutti’s art classes every term of high school. I did a lot of theater, and a lot of sports—soccer, tennis, and swim. I was also a vocalist for the GHS jazz band my senior year.

Q. What about your extracurriculars did you find the most enriching?

A. I liked the art classes because all these supplies and resources were in one room, and there were a lot of great opportunities to do your own art along with class assignments. You could make the assignments your own, too. I liked theater because of the people, but also because it was a good opportunity to get out of my comfort zone. Tennis and swim were fun because the people were fun, and I felt like there was good, positive energy, and in soccer I liked the competition aspect the most. 

Q. Where do you feel like all these interests started for you?

A. So, I started playing soccer when I was 5, because it was fun and my parents figured I needed activity. Theater and music started in O’Maley Academy, the musical theater summer program at the middle school. My mom found it, and thought we’d love it, so my brother and I went, and we did. I think I was in 4th grade when that started. Then I came to the real theater program at O’Maley, and made friends with a lot of great people. I also used to want to be an artist when I was younger, and in elementary school we had an art classroom. Then, they changed it so that we had art in our own classrooms, and they brought this art supply cart around and we’d do that. In middle school, we had a lot of cool, big art projects that excited me, and kept my interest going, like movie-making and painting and sculpture. I liked being able to do projects my own way, and do them in an artistic way. When I got to high school, I loved that you could take specific kinds of art classes, like printmaking.

Q. If everything goes according to plan, where do you see your future going?

A. I want to work in animal rehabilitation, with animals that have been injured and need help healing. When I was thinking about what I wanted to do, I liked veterinary work, but I didn’t want to have to put down animals, I wanted to work more with healing and helping. I picked environmental science as a major because I took AP Environmental Science and liked it a lot, and then I discovered my concentration within my major and how it can lead to working in animal rehabilitation, so I want to work in an animal rehabilitation center. I also like marine biology, so if I was to go to graduate school, I’d go for marine biology and focus on animal rehab in marine animals. I’d also maybe like to work as a lab technician in an environmental research lab.

*This article is part of a series funded by the Gloucester Education Foundation. An abbreviated version is published on the GEF website. 

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About the Contributor
Aurelia Harrison (they/them) is a senior and Editor in Chief for the Gillnetter. Their interests include writing, thinking about writing, music, and talking. They work at The Bookstore of Gloucester on the weekends, are a member of drama club, and love nature walks and famed Colombian pop star Shakira. They have been published in lit journals such as IAMB Magazine and The Empty Inkwell, and have received awards for their poetry and journalism. If you happen to engage Aurelia in conversation about philosophy, The Hunger Games, or Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours” album, bring a sleeping mask. You have been warned. Email them at [email protected]  

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