Getting to Know The 2021 Top 5: Valedictorian, Julianna Keyser

senior picture of a girl with dark long hair smiling without showing her teethValedictorian, Julianna Keyser: I have been most involved with National Honor Society, varsity track and field as a thrower, Envirothon, Youth as Leaders and Ski Club.  

What you want people to know about you: I am most impressed/impacted by the smallest things. 

Career goals: Currently, I would like to pursue a career in environmental science. I have not completely decided on specifically which area of environmental science I would like to focus on yet. I would like to secure a role in an organization like the EPA or DEC as well as be able to travel for part of my job. 

Something about the world that concerns you: Something that concerns me most about the world are the amount of negative environmental impacts that are made every day. From contributing to overconsumption to pollution, our everyday habits can have an impact on a scale that we may not recognize. I think we often forget that sometimes our actions are multiplied by the billions.  

Something about the world that inspires you: The way in which certain sustainable practices have begun to become mainstream inspires me. New York has started to phase out single use plastic, such as plastic bags, and the reusable cups and straws movement has increasingly impacted consumers. We can use the fact that our actions often become multiplied to our advantage in starting with small changes.   

Notable quote: Right now, the saying that means the most to me is just to “be grateful”. I often get too wrapped up in my own life or the things happening to me that simply taking a second to think about what others may be dealing with brings me back into reality. 

Advice to help other students succeed: One suggestion I have is to do work when you feel like it, to an extent. I have found that when I am motivated to do an assignment, I get it done a lot faster and more well thought out then when I force myself to do it all at once. When you are in the right mindset to do something, it turns out a lot better. This can be taking breaks when studying, setting up the right environment to do work or even putting things off for a little while if you truly feel that you won’t be doing your best work at that moment.

MHS spotlight: A more recent highlight for me would be the day our Environmental Science class spent with the Department of Environmental Conservation at the Schoharie Creek. I was able to explore a career I was interested in pursuing as well as meet with other students that I had not seen in months due to COVID.