Rachel Thomas is one of our incredible alumni and will be posting here throughout the competition season! Before her first article, let’s get to know her a bit better!
In which Affiliate did you compete?
What are your particular areas of interest?
Environmental Justice, Animal Rights, Climate Change, Ocean Restoration, Human Rights
Running, painting, animal caretaking, scuba diving
Favorite futuristic technology?
Space tourism equipment, maglev trains, lab-made food
When did you attend the International Conference? What was the topic?
I attended IC 2011 for Emergency Planning
What is your favorite FPS topic(s) that you studied?
Genetic Testing and Water Quality
What is your favorite memory/experience from FPS as a student?
Preparing for Oral competition (editor’s note: Presentation of Action Plan). My mom was a curator of a children’s art museum when I was a kid that used recycled and donated materials as the art supplies, so I was right as home making props out of pipe cleaners and construction paper. And always, without fail, half the time was spent actually prepping and rehearsing, and the other half of the time was just goofing off.
What path did you pursue after secondary school?
I studied Marine Science and Biology at the University of Tampa.
How have your problem-solving skills been useful for your post-secondary endeavors?
A lot of the things I learned just from researching different topics have been really monumental to my education in environmental science and genetics. It was good to know different technologies that already existed and different companies that I wouldn’t have been aware of otherwise.
What is the most significant/standout message/lesson that FPS taught you?
I remember for all our written problems/solutions it was suggested that we only have 2 per “category,” like arts & aesthetics, recreation, and physical health. It made me sort of realize that you can approach problems and solutions from several different angles, even if it seems like the topic at hand would only fit into a couple boxes.
What one piece of advice would you give an FPS student who is just starting out in the program?
Don’t be afraid of being too “silly”. It’s a really fun program; learning is fun! The whole idea is trying to teach creative thinking and thinking outside the box, so don’t think of it as extra work, or something more difficult, it’s really something to have fun with. You’re trying to find problems that other people may not have seen, and come up with solutions that haven’t been thought of. It may sound intimidating, but you can really have fun with it!
Huge thanks to Rachel for being a guest writer, and for letting us get to know her! Later this week, she’ll post an article about her work with humane societies and their programs. Check back here to read about her great work!