“I want to make a difference”


Photo courtesy of Leach

With an owl resting on her arm, Sabreena Leach (12) smiles for a picture while volunteering at the Wild Bird Sanctuary.

As the school year comes to a close, many seniors are deciding what they want to do after graduation. Sabreena Leach (12), however, knows exactly what she wants to accomplish in her future. And she received some help from her past to do so.

Leach plans to major in Environmental Science and Sustainability Management at the University of Washington in Seattle. To assist in college costs, Leach received a $10,000 scholarship from the The Goddard School, where she attended preschool in Oakville. Her entry was selected from all of the entries submitted by preschool graduates around the nation.

“It’s pretty cool to win,” Leach said. “I never expected to be a finalist, yet alone a winner.”

For the scholarship, Leach had to write an essay and create a video explaining what she wants to pursue in her future and her favorite Goddard School memory. In her video, she told the story of hatching chicks in her preschool class. Her application was selected into the top three, and from there, Facebook users could watch the videos and vote daily for the duration of a week to decide the final winner.

“Receiving the scholarship was amazing,” Leach said. “It made all the work I put into it worth it.”

In addition to winning the Goddard School scholarship, Leach was recently named the Science Department award winner at the Academic Awards Night on May 2. Leach has been committed to Science National Honor Society by creating the eclipse shirts and putting flyers around the school encouraging others to recycle.

“She not only exceeds expectations in the science classroom, but also in her extracurricular activities,” Science teacher Ms. Sarah Guenther said. “She truly has a passion for conservation of the environment and of science as a whole.”

When Leach isn’t studying for her five Advanced Placement classes, she spends her free time volunteering at the Wild Bird Sanctuary. She began volunteering there her freshman year by cleaning enclosures, prepping food, and assisting with enrichment. She found the sanctuary when she was searching for a place to volunteer for Key Club. She visited their open house and was convinced to become a junior volunteer.

“I love the sanctuary and the staff, volunteers, and the birds there,” Leach said. “I like giving them a helping hand whenever I can.”

Leach plans to use her college degree to continue to give back to the world.

“I want to create sustainable solutions which consider the economic, social, and environmental impacts of problems and their solutions,” Leach said. “Environmental Science ties into that with its systematic approach.

“My future goals are to go through college and maybe grad school… and do stuff where I make a difference.”