Alumni beyond Edgehill: Sam Olivares-Mejia '18

In this feature, we check in with PDS/USN alumni in all walks of life, all over the world for a look at all that life beyond Edgehill can entail.
By Sierra Smith, Communications Specialist

Five years after leaving the halls of 2000 Edgehill, Sam Olivares-Mejia '18 is spending her days as a data management intern for Scientists in Parks, an internship program in partnership with the Geological Society of America and Americorps. 

Gaining valuable insight into working as a scientist in the environmental field, Olivares-Mejia is based out of the Sonoran Desert Inventory and Monitoring Network in Tucson, Arizona, which monitors the vital signs of water, vegetation, and wildlife in the region. In her role, Olivares-Mejia stays busy; she's worked in over 10 parks and, most recently, spent time surveying 30 miles of the Rio Grande via canoe. 

In between adventures, Olivaras-Mejia took a few minutes to catch up with her alma mater. 

Q: Please share a favorite memory from your time at 2000 Edgehill. 
A: Some of my favorite moments were the day-to-day interactions I had with my classmates — playing cards in the library, competing in annual advisory tournaments, and waiting around in the hallways between classes. Having been at USN for 13 years, you grow to appreciate the community around you even if you don't fully understand it until years later.

Q: How did your USN education prepare you for the work you're doing today?
A: USN's curriculum always emphasized the importance of connecting with nature as early as in Lower School. Our nature walks, Out of These Doors [in seventh grade], and trips to Pisgah gave me the exposure to the outdoors that I wouldn't have gotten to experience otherwise and the ability to respect our relationship to the land. Today, I'm lucky enough to be in a field that continues to cultivate these connections, and I'm so grateful to have learned how to observe the world around me from such a young age. 

Q: What's one piece of advice you have for USN students?
A: Don't be afraid to ask questions and put yourself out there! Often the only thing stopping us from success is ourselves, so don't be afraid to reach out and try something new. Either way, you'll learn and grow from that experience.

If you or someone you know is doing great work beyond Edgehill, please complete the form here to be considered for future installments of this series.

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University School of Nashville models the best educational practices. In an environment that represents the cultural and ethnic composition of Metropolitan Nashville, USN fosters each student’s intellectual, artistic, and athletic potential, valuing and inspiring integrity, creative expression, a love of learning, and the pursuit of excellence.