Walking into your class on the first day of sixth grade there was no way I could've imagined that your class was going to have the impact on me that it did. You were my science teacher and prior to your class I absolutely dreaded the topic, so what could someone who absolutely hated science take away from that?

A new admiration and love for the subject.

I'm now pursuing a Bachelors of Science through the Department of Integrative Biology at that's not something I would've ever considered in a million years had it not been for you. Before you I had no idea that I could make a living out of researching animals; I thought the only career paths I could go down were veterinary. Then you started talking to me about how you used to be an ornithologist, and you talked to me about the work you used to do. I remember how we had these talks as we'd walk to lunch, and I remember them very fondly. As time passed you eventually began inviting me out on bird scoutings into the Everglades that you would be attending. You really took me under your wing- no pun intended.

It's because of you that I realized I wanted to spend my life doing research on animals that I loved. The way that you spoke about your former research with such passion made me excited for a future that had yet to come.

Most college students come into their first year not knowing what they want to do, and an even larger number of students change their mind over some course of their college years. Because of you, when I was eleven years old I made up my mind what I wanted to go to college and study. I am now nineteen and I have not wavered from that for even a second in the past eight years. In fact, I am more confident than ever that this is the road that I am meant to be going down.

So thank you.

Thank you for spreading your passion to me. Thank you for giving me someone to look up to. Thank you for always encouraging me. Thank you for my life a direction. And most importantly, thank you for continuing to support me all these years down the line.