“Contrary to popular belief, young adults have the ability to help in preserving our planet,” says Amanda “Hillary” Bosch, a senior at St. Mary’s Dominican High School.

Even though picking up a piece of litter or recycling one aluminum can may not seem like a big deal, it all adds up to impact the global environment. “Young adults have the time and energy to go beyond minimum expectations and make even more of a difference,” says Bosch.

Bosch’s biology class signed up to pick up trash around Bayou St. John, all the volunteers were excited – until they saw that it was forecasted to rain all day. The unexpected mud puddles made picking up litter a chore, but they worked together to help clean up the bayou.

This past year, Bosch went on a service trip through Audubon Zoo’s ECCO Program to study shorebird species on Dauphin Island. The students stayed in the Dauphin Island Sea Lab dorms and were ready to work at 8 a.m. the next morning. On the beach, the students met researchers who spend countless hours catching, tagging and collecting information on various shorebirds. The students even helped the researchers set the birds free after they were tagged.

“With this trip, I realized that even the smallest animals are incredible animals; these petite birds migrate from Brazil to the Arctic yearly, and they are rarely even noticed,” says Bosch. “It was an amazing experience to actually be in the field collecting information that will help us track and protect the smallest members of our biological society.”

Bosch is the president of the Science Club and Secretary of the Multicultural Club; she’s also a member of National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, Quiz Bowl, tennis team and Retreat Team. Outside of school, Bosch is just as active, where she’s involved with Teen Cross and St. Matthew the Apostle’s Catholic Youth Organization.

Beth Joubert, Bosch’s CYO director, has been her inspiration for service work. When Bosch first joined CYO, she was very shy and didn’t know how to get involved or participate – Joubert made her feel that the service work, whatever it happened to be, truly needed Bosch’s help. “Without meeting Ms. Beth, I would never have gained the courage to stand up for what I care about or work for a cause greater than myself. I owe all of my future volunteer work to her wonderful example of how courageous women should live,” says Bosch.

Bosch hopes to go out of state for college to become a marine biologist and study the effects of pollution on deep-sea creatures.