Kaylee Crouse, a third year student at Cornell College, is a strong civic leader who engages herself and others in community engagement. To act on her passion for environmental issues, Kaylee has traveled to Costa Rica with a course for community-based research on the local sea turtle population and has spent two summers interning at the Blank Park Zoo. Her senior capstone project will utilize global data to educate others on conservation of sea turtles and will involve working with local researchers to move toward achieving social change in Costa Rica and around the world. Kaylee does not believe community engagement is a solo effort, and, as a result, works to engage others. She led three Cornell Alternative Break trips, coordinates an elementary school mentor program, and engaged first-year students in her role as a Peer Advocate for Cornell College's New Student Orientation. Kaylee has a bright personality that engages everyone she meets and inspires them to find their passion and pursue it, as she has done through all of her involvement at Cornell College and beyond.
Starting at a young age, I always wanted everyone and everything around me to be happy. Whether it was playing with every dog and cat at the animal shelter or simply chatting with a stranger, I always wanted to spread some cheer. As I have gotten older, I have seen that there is so much inequality, despair, and struggle in the world, and I want to change that. I have traveled the nation providing aid to underprivileged neighborhoods that the world has ignored after devastating natural disasters. Throughout the summer months, I traveled the state of Iowa with the Blank Park Zoo, educating audiences about animals and the importance of conservation. Through Cornell College, I have been able to do research on Olive Ridley sea turtles in Costa Rica and make advances towards conserving the species. My goal is to spread happiness throughout the world, whether that be providing a safe house for a family in need, inspiring people to love and care for all wildlife, or ensuring there will be a future where all animals can flourish and thrive. I am so excited to spread more happiness throughout the world through the opportunities this fellowship provides.