Meredith Haas doubted that she would be able to make that all-important walk across the stage, but with support from three influential teachers, she was able to graduate from high school and college and launch a career in writing about environmental issues.
Haas, 32, a 2002 graduate from Towson High School faced many challenges throughout her high school experience. During her sophomore and junior years, Haas took classes with Ms. West (about the Chesapeake Bay), Mr. Leer (Oceanography), and Mr. Barlow (English). Through these classes, she participated in several field trips related to
nature and marine biology. Through her English class, she improved her writing skills and she says this helped her get accepted to the University of Rhode Island.
According to Haas, the exposure she had while at Towson High School was incomparable. “These classes were exciting,” she said, “because they were nothing I had ever been exposed to before. They made the world seem much larger and more interesting. I liked learning about how the world works.”
She described the classes as fun, interactive, and engaging.
“I was able to forge some valuable friendships,” said Haas. “The teachers really stepped up and supported me when I was going through a rough time.”
She also participated in soccer and tennis, because they provided her with structure and consistency.
Although Haas didn’t earn the best grades, she said she now understands that grades are “so much more valuable than students’ realize.” Haas considers grades as the “ticket out and into the real-world…Schoolwork sometimes didn’t make sense and may have seemed tedious and pointless, but it will open doors you didn’t even know existed.” She says that she would love to revisit her alma mater to speak with current Towson High School students.
Haas is employed as the research communications specialist and web manager for the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography. The Rhode Island Sea Grant
is a partnership of the university, the National Sea Grant College Program, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the state of Rhode Island. The Rhode Island Sea Grant is one of 33 programs in a national network and includes a legal program located at Roger Williams University School of Law.
Haas is responsible for keeping track of all ongoing research, as well as related science, to generate stories for digital and print publications. She also manages the events and websites.
Next, Haas plans to continue expanding her writing portfolio and enjoying the wilderness. She said she is looking forward to the future “because you never know who you are going to meet, where your future will lead, and what you will learn.”