This week’s Flashback Blog was written in 2021 by Lorelei M-B., Bucktails, Brookies, Gobblers, and Ursids alumni. Lorelei is the Founder/CEO of Heart Hugs, a global organization that provides tangible support and advocacy for congenital heart defect awareness, detection, and treatment. Her work includes several educational publications explaining the Total Artificial Heart, 3-Stage Palliative Reconstruction, and the effects of trauma on patients. She has been instrumental in funding various medical response programs, advocating for transplantation approval for children with intellectual disabilities as well as better cardiac care for Wounded Warriors, providing compression heart pillows to over 36,000 open heart patients around the world, and advocating for informed and culturally responsive health programs to help detect congenital heart defects. She was recognized as the 2016 Military Child of the Year for the Army, a National Prudential Spirit of Community Award Recipient, an Everyday Health Hero by Dr. Mehmet Oz, and is an official Marvel superhero as part of Marvel’s Hero Project, as well as numerous other distinctions. Her Cherokee heritage greatly influences her approaches to Resiliency and Healing as she faces her own complicated diagnosis of Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, an incurable severe congenital heart defect. Lorelei’s ability to make extremely complicated diagnoses understandable to the public creates hope and understanding in each community she serves.
This week’s blog is a guest post written by Kala D., a 2008 Bucktails alumni. Kala earned her bachelor’s degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Conservation from California University of Pennsylvania. In 2019, she graduated from Memorial University of Newfoundland with a master’s degree in Environmental Science. Kala is currently working as an Environmental Project Manager focusing on renewable and aquatic ecosystems.
This week’s Flashback Blog was written by Peter L., a Bucktails, Drummers, Gobblers, and Ursids alumni. Peter is currently a student at Pennsylvania Western University where he is earning a Bachelor of Science in Fisheries & Wildlife Biology as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Jurisprudence. Peter is a member of the Allegheny Plateau Audubon Society and volunteers his time observing/counting migrating raptors at the Allegheny Front Hawkwatch.
This week’s blog is a guest post written by Nathan C., a Drummers and Gobblers alumni. Nathan is currently studying engineering at the University of Pittsburgh. Now and in the future, he hopes to work with others to create more sustainable technologies and perspectives. Whether that be in photovoltaic cell manufacturing, vertical farming, energy storage development, or something else ultimately remains to be determined. Nathan enjoys fishing, gardening, cardio, and taking naps. He came to the WLA first as a student and then twice as a volunteer to get closer to that which I hope to help preserve.
This week’s Flashback Blog was written in 2015 by Freya B., a Bucktails and Ursids alumni. Freya is currently a student at Warren Wilson College where she is studying Conservation Biology and minoring in Outdoor Leadership. Freya is also working on Warren Wilson’s Outdoor Programs Crew where she designs, organizes, and leads outdoor trips and activities for the student body. Freya credits the Wildlife Leadership Academy for providing her with an invaluable network of mentors, role models, and recommenders.