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Where are they now? Mount Abraham Union High School – Molly Parren, 2008

Mount Abraham Union High School – Molly Parren, 2008
Hometown, current residence, age: My hometown is Monkton, Vt. I currently live in Newberry Springs, Calif. (the Mojave Desert) but will soon be moving to Arcata, Calif., for graduate school. I’m 26 years old.
Family: My parents, Lauren and Steve Parren, and my sister, Nora Parren.
What I am up to: I am currently working as a wildlife technician for California Fish and Wildlife studying the effects of prolonged drought on terrestrial species in the Mojave Desert. I am heading to graduate school at Humboldt State University in August and will be using the data we are collecting for my master’s thesis.
How I got to where I am now: I went to St. Lawrence University in Canton, N.Y., and majored in Conservation Biology. I was lucky to have been born into the wildlife field — my dad is a wildlife biologist for Vermont Fish and Wildlife — and what jump started my career were the years I spent volunteering for his department. To get into this field you need some kind of experience so volunteering is imperative and it is best to start young.
Adults to whom I can attribute my current success: My dad was immensely helpful in getting me to where I am today. As someone who works in the field he has been able to guide me through the somewhat difficult and stressful process of getting into and staying in the wildlife field. Having a mother who supports everything I do has also been immeasurably helpful when having to make the tough choices like moving across the country for work.
How my Vermont roots have influenced who I am today: I hold onto my Vermont roots dearly. Growing up in a rural area allowed me to grow up interacting with and understanding nature, which has guided me through my adult life. Small town life taught me about building and nurturing community which is important to thriving anywhere. Especially if you move a lot for work, like me.
My memories of high school: I am lucky to have had the same group of friends all of my life from age 5 to now, so high school went pretty smoothly thanks to that support system. I think walking to the same part of the hall to see my friends every day was the high point that carried me through my high school years. I don’t have any definitive low points, but it can be a difficult age as you try to navigate growing up and trying to figure out what you want to do with your future. The college application process was really tough for me because I didn’t know what I wanted and had to face real rejection for the first time
My advice for this year’s crop of graduating seniors: I would encourage them to embrace the potentially difficult moments they may experience as they leave home and start adult life. It can be a really hard process but how you deal with those moments can give you the inner strength and skills necessary to take risks in life to get where you want to go.

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