Town: Cambridge, Massachusetts
Quote: “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined.” – Henry David Thoreau
About Laura: The sun shined through the leaves above and soaked the boulders and forest floor with morning light, while the rhythm of one foot after another filled the silence of the woods. The small troubles of my school life seemed to disappear as I followed the trail upward though a canopy of fall color. I found it so amazing how even though my muscles burned, my lungs ached for air, and I had mud caked to my ankles, I felt so close to my true self—learning more about my inner thoughts, what excites me, and also learning that there’s so much energy inside you, both physically and spiritually, if you choose to persevere and find it within you.
Upon entering the alpine zone, the trees disappeared and soon all that was left was the rock below and the sky above. Before long, I had the sole of my hiking boot over the summit marker. At that moment, I discovered this overwhelming feeling of happiness that comes from standing on top of a mountain summit. In that same moment, I began to understand that the nature around me was less of a retreat or a vacation spot but more so, it is a vital part of who I am, and who we all are.
That was my first Adirondack High Peak, Cascade Mountain, and I’ll admit it was that day back in 8th grade that I got hooked on the mountains. From my very early years my dad put me on skis, brought me hiking, swimming, canoeing, and fishing. I grew up in the Albany area of upstate New York, and spent most of my weekends exploring the Adirondacks with my family, and those mountains now feel like my second home. Being on fresh snow on my skis, hiking through the woods, or being out on the water clears any worries and brings me this sense of inner peace, but I also love the thrill of trying new trails and routes.
Since I started school, I would go to Girl Scout Camp in the Southern Adirondacks every summer, and I loved it so much that I decided to work there the past two summers as a lifeguard. There is this great camaraderie of girls who enjoy spending time outside, but more importantly just having fun!
My senior year of high school I was blessed to be accepted to MIT, which was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. I’m currently in my second year and it’s been such an amazing experience so far, and I also look forward to exploring more in the White Mountains out of Boston. One day I hope to be an engineer—I love the way engineering allows you to solve problems facing the world today in creative ways. I heard about SheJumps at a premier of the movie Pretty Faces in Boston and loved the concept behind the organization—I hope it will help more girls experience the outdoors and form great friendships!