My name is Rhiley Hodges and I am from Jacksonville, FL. I am currently a junior at UCF studying Environmental Studies. My favorite part about my major is the fun activities I have been able to be a part of outside of the classroom. Recently I’ve been blessed to be a Doris Duke Conservation Scholar studying conservation and environmental justice at the University of Washington. Being involved with activities, whether outside of the classroom or on campus as a STEM Ambassador, has allowed me to network and pave the way for my career after college.
I decided to get involved with the STEM Ambassador program my sophomore year of college because I wanted to be the bridge for the next generation of STEM students; to be an encouragement and inspiration for people who are like me. Over the past year as an ambassador I’ve acquired skills and experiences that have allowed me to be that bridge, whether that be from volunteering at SECME competitions, GIS expos, being a liaison for STEM at UCF, or hosting online seminars to teach sustainability. The STEM Ambassador Program has taught me the value in being your authentic self, asking for help, and equipping other with the tools you were once in search for. Advice I would give to any future STEM Ambassadors or STEM students is to be authentic, ask for help and that your creativity, ideas, and education are worth investing in. You were created for such a time as this.
In my spare time, I love fellowshipping with my family – from marathon movie nights to our monthly “Hodges Olympics” in our living room.