Omar Moros Taylor has always been interested in the environment, but when he first transferred to Richmond Community High School from New York, joining the Environmental Club expanded his interest. He helped plan and participate in activities such as garbage cleanups around the school, surveyed surrounding land and streams, built pollinator gardens and built an outdoor classroom. Some of his favorite experiences were visiting different national state parks and going camping. “I had a whole lot of fun and there was a lot of exciting things going on,” Omar said. He described the club advisor as a role model and mother-figure at school. She encouraged him to get involved and eventually he became the club president. Realizing how big his passion for the environment was, Omar decided to pursue it as a career.
In high school, Omar worked with the MathScience Innovation Center. He was able to take an intensive two-week course called Tank to Table where he learned about aquaculture and how to raise aquatic animals. After this, he was selected to work as an intern for the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. “I worked with esteemed scientists and learned in depth abut oyster aquaculture,” Omar stated in an essay. “I then came back to Richmond Public Schools to implement aquaponics systems, a sustainable system that produces fresh vegetables and fish protein in a soilless environment.” In college Omar hopes to learn even more about sustainability and food security.
This fall semester, Omar started college at Allegheny College in Meadville, PA to study environmental science. He chose to attend Allegheny over other schools because they are ranked the second top college for environmental science. The first ranked school is in California, and Omar wanted to stay closer to home. The school is right next to a national forest so Omar is looking forward to doing field work there and going on trips to other national parks. “I would say my ultimate dream job, even if it’s not possible, would be a botanist on Mars or in space,” Omar said.
While the Environmental Club was his favorite activity, Omar was also a member of the Theatre Club, Anime Club, Mu Alpha Theta; he was a band manager, in the Varsity Choir and started a Dungeons and Dragons Club. When he was going to school in New York, he was in the New York State School Music Association. He was also in the Stony Point Presbyterian Church Youth group. While he stayed busy in school, he worked hard academically and graduated with a 3.4 GPA.
Some of Omar’s biggest inspirations in life are his parents and Neil DeGrasse Tyson. “Since I aspire to be a scientist, I love how Neil DeGrasse Tyson is able to explain things so that everybody can understand concepts and ideas and I want to aspire to be like that,” Omar said. His parents also inspire him because they constantly push him to do his best.