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Scholar Profiles

Amanda Padden

Campus: Duke
Hometown: Chapel Hill, NC
High School: United World College USA

Within days of arriving at my brand new school in Montezuma, New Mexico, I was, along with a group of my fellow nervous first-years, thrown into the Pecos Wilderness for our first backpacking trip in the school’s wilderness program. I had never gone backpacking before, and I was just starting to like it when the sky opened up, and it proceeded to thunderstorm for the next two days. Needless to say, I was less than sure of backpacking when I first tried it. That quickly changed, however, over the next two years as I signed up for every backpacking trip I could, became certified in Wilderness First Aid, and earned the title of a Wilderness Leader. I was hooked. My love for the outdoor world merged with my passion for studying social sciences and politics. I am a politics nerd. I watch elections like some watch sports and read countless articles on the latest political fiascos and successes. In school, I was enthralled with my environmental science, economics, and global politics classes and these informed how I viewed environmental issues. My exploration of the outdoors through backpacking fueled a love for the environment; my classes and discussions shaped my interest in environmental policy and economics. How can the government better promote and enforce environmentally friendly action from individuals and industries? How did environmental issues escalate global conflicts? These questions, among others, continue to probe at my mind, and they are the ones I plan to explore in college.

What drew you to the Robertson Program?

After having a less than typical high school experience, I knew I wanted to find something that would make my time spent in college more unique and valuable. When I began looking into programs, I was drawn to the Robertson Scholarship Program for its summer opportunities. Not only would the scholarship allow me to attend two top universities and access their resources, but also I would have the chance to spend my summers further exploring what I am interested in all over the country and all over the world.

Padden Amanda
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