Congratulations to Jaeydah Edwards, the 2017 Winner of the Ohio Problem-Solving Scholarship. Jaeydah is currently a student at Winton Woods High School in Cincinnati and was chosen out of 626 scholarship applicants. Read Jaeydah’s winning essay below.
Essay: When thinking about the world on a global scale, there are so many things that could be changed. A call for change could be made in the aspect of equality among races or women’s rights. Change could be made in the medical field, enabling researchers to find cures for deadly diseases and illnesses. However, the biggest problem I see is climate change. True, there are many worldwide problems that seem larger than life, such as cancer and other incurable illnesses. However, we cannot work toward a solution to these problems if we do not have a home to carry out our research. It may not seem evident to many, but the Earth, our home, is changing. I personally would not consider these changes to be a good thing. Global warming, pollution, and extinction are major effects of climate change. Because of climate change, many species are dying or losing their homes. The Great Barrier Reef, which was once prominent and beautiful, is now dying. It no longer has its vibrant colors. The coral is completely white due to coral bleaching, an effect of climate change. Because of industrialization, many factories appeared all over the world. These factories release pollution in the forms of toxic waste and smoke. These carcinogens are then released into our environment, which cannot adapt. Toxic sludge has taken the lives of many fish populations who were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Melting ice caps and glaciers caused by increasing temperatures have forced many cold weather animals out of their natural environments. But, the thing is, climate change and its effects can mostly be traced back to humans. Our rush for industrialization caused pollution all over the world. Because of this, China is one of the many countries surrounded by smog and unclean air. Deforestation has forced millions of species into extinction, while releasing pollutants into the air. The extraction of natural resources can be particularly messy, leaving major water sources in peril. Because we are running out of sources of crude oil, a new system of mining called hydraulic fracturing has been instilled. However, fracking can be very dangerous to the environment. Earth is our home, and we need to protect it. It must be considered that we are not the only ones who suffer from global warming and climate change. There are millions of species out there – some yet to be discovered. However, we will never have the chance to meet these new species if their homes are destroyed. I want to change how the environment is treated. Earth is precious to all of us. It is our home. However, it will not be here for long if we continue to poison and harm it. We can all start helping today. Individuals can decrease their carbon footprints by doing something as small as carpooling to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Or, recycle to reduce waste build up in landfills. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which sits in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of California wreaks havoc on marine wildlife affected by the debris. I want to bring about this change because we only have one Earth and one chance to help it. I am well aware that this is a large goal for one person, but with the right motivation and resources, anything can be accomplished. I plan to carry out my goal by first, getting my college degree. I plan to get my Masters in biology. Next, I wish to become a research scientist. With access to a lab, I plan to use my future degree to research climate change and how it affects different species and environments. I plan to try to slowly heal these environments, or help the endangered species adapt to new environments. The Earth is our home, and we must do everything we can to save it.