A sixth former from Derby High School is one of 15 students from across the UK to be awarded a prestigious scholarship.
Evie Miller was selected by the Field Studies Council for the Young Darwin Scholarship which support students with an interest in studying the natural world.
The 17-year-old heard about the scholarship at school and applied by writing about her interest in the natural world and why she should be chosen to be one of the scholars.
She said: “My interest in wildlife comes from my family and started when I was about six. I find the natural world quite fascinating. I was really keen to apply for the scholarship but I wasn’t sure if I had a chance as I didn’t know who else had applied. A couple of weeks after I sent off the application I received an email saying that I’d been successful. I was really happy and excited.”
As part of the scholarship Evie, who is studying A-levels in Geography, Biology and English Literature, spent five days on a residential course in Shrewsbury with her fellow scholars.
Evie, who is looking to study Geography at university and is Derby High School’s Eco Prefect, said she thoroughly enjoyed the experience. She said: “We started by thinking about how Darwin thought, looked at the gardens and the biodiversity in them, and talked about how we could get young people interested in the natural world.
“We looked at landscapes, compared rocks underneath and above the ground, and took part in bat, bird and mammal watching. We had people talk to us about careers in the environment and how we can inspire young people. It was so much fun and one of the best things I could do. It was great to meet people with similar interests.”
Joe Gallagher, Head of Geography at Derby High School, said: “From the moment she started it has been clear to us at Derby High that Evie has a great passion for the natural world. On field trips she constantly illuminates peers and staff with her knowledge of biodiversity, in particular ornithology.
“Gaining the Young Darwin Scholarship gave Evie the chance to further her understanding of the importance of British ecosystems and the opportunity to meet other like-minded young people. Skills developed on the course will assist with her A Levels and also her study at university. Looking beyond, there are also many career opportunities emerging in this field that Evie may be considering, so hopefully the five days in Shropshire gave some her some food for thought on potential work with wildlife and the environment.”