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Undergraduate Student

Patrick Trail

Junior, Geography, International Studies

  • Minor: French

I was born in Baton Rouge, La., but moved with my family to Rwanda when I was only 8 weeks old. We lived there until 1993 when the war and genocide broke out. My family then moved to the tropical island of Mauritius, located off the eastern coast of Madagascar. I consider Mauritius to be home more than anywhere in the world. Growing up on the water, I enjoyed fishing, surfing, sailing, and any other activity on the ocean. My schooling was all done in English at international schools; however, I spoke French and Creole with many of my friends.

In 2003 my family moved again to Botswana, a landlocked country in southern Africa, which happens to be on the edge of the Kalahari Desert. While it was very different from Mauritius, I soon fell in love with the place. There my two brothers and I enjoyed hunting, camping, and riding dirt bikes in the bush. Finally in 2007 we moved once more, this time to Richmond, Va. I completed my senior year of high school there before deciding to come to Virginia Tech. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to study, but I knew it would likely be in a natural resources field.

For the past two summers I have worked as a park ranger for the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation. In the future I hope to one day return to Africa and help the people there. I would like to work in an environmental development role in some shape or form. I would like to work for the U.S. Agency for International Development or with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s international branch. I suppose I have time to explore my options.

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