From a young age, Darian had a love for animals and science. It wasn’t until later that he realized these passions could become the perfect combination for a career in wildlife conservation. “Animals are a significant and irreplaceable part of the world,” Darian explains. “I love to learn about how they live and what they do.” He also has a strong interest in how ecosystem collapse affects other environmental issues, endangered species and the loss of biodiversity.
Darian, a first-year student at the University of Nebraska Lincoln, was recently accepted into the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars (DDCS) Program, a two-summer fellowship program for students going into conservation and similar fields. The program aims to assist groups that have been historically underrepresented in these fields and has an emphasis on diversity, encouraging minority students to apply and share their stories. “It looked like a great opportunity,” stated Darian. “The program seemed like a good fit for me and my career goals.”
Darian’s College Possible coach, Yuli, assisted him with the fellowship application process by reviewing his resume and helping him with essay formatting. “She also looked over the notes that I wrote before my interview,” added Darian. As an environmental science graduate, his coach was well-suited to assist him with his application. “She helped me every step of the way.”
College Possible coaches are invaluable,” Darian says. Whether he’s receiving assistance with an application or making tweaks to his resume, he says, “It’s always good to have somebody that you can go to for revisions or advice.”
With his acceptance into the fellowship, Darian hopes to gain insight into possible career paths to help narrow down his long-term goals. He is also interested in the social awareness aspect of the program, which aligns with his desire to be involved in advocacy throughout his career.
As a first-generation college student, Darian values his college degree and university experience. They are essential to his short-term and long-term plans of working in wildlife conservation. His degree represents a lifetime of opportunities. But this milestone is not just for Darian. “A college degree makes me a role model for my younger sister and cousins,” he adds.
Upon completion of his degree, Darian hopes to gain professional experience in a variety of regions across the country. While education beyond a bachelor’s degree can be an advantage in his field, Darian is eager to explore job opportunities that will allow him to make a difference in the world as soon as he can.