Theresa, D2D '16

Theresa Passe 2.jpgTheresa learned about the Ann Bancroft Foundation when Ann visited her elementary school. She was motivated to apply for a grant while deciding to participate in a field study program in high school, knowing that ABF was a place she could find support and encouragement to pursue her dream. Theresa received a Dare to Dream grant in 2016 for a two-week field study through her high school in the Galapagos Islands and Ecuador.

Reflecting upon her experience, this is what she shared with us: “This trip changed my life. I discovered that I can be independent and take care of myself. I can travel to foreign countries and speak Spanish to native speakers. This trip also taught me to be more aware of how special our planet is. Thousands of years ago the fragile process of evolution began to change the organisms on the Galapagos. Evolution is why our world is so diverse and beautiful, and I saw that if we (humans) are not careful, we are going to wreck things beyond repair. I think about this experience almost every day. Not only did I make new friends, but I also saw how perfect the world can work—without human interference.”

As a high school senior, Theresa talked about her plans to start college in the fall of 2018: “In part, thanks to this field study, I am planning to major in Environmental Engineering. After traveling to Ecuador, I realized how fragile our relationship with our environment is, and I saw the grave consequences that come when we ignore this balance. I knew that I wanted to do something with the rest of my life that will find practical solutions to how we can preserve the natural world yet still have growth and expansion as a human race. Environmental engineering was on my radar before going on this trip, but now I see that it is a way I can do something good in the world. I think about this field study every day of my life. It truly was a life-changing experience that never could have happened without the support of the Ann Bancroft Foundation.”