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So, she used her money to She clutched her lab work to her side walking briskly towards school. The snow fell in typical New York flurries and the ground was still icy from last night’s freeze. Careful not to slip, she climbed the steps and crossed the campus towards the science building. “What am I doing?” she murmured. Sophie’s worse habit was talking to herself in public. “I have been warned”. “You are just a high school kid, Sophie”, they warned. “What makes you think you are capable of solving this crucial environmental issue? Stop wasting your time”. The professors would not give her laboratory time to complete research nor would they share their expertise with her. But, she could not stop. After that snorkeling trip she took with her aunt to the coral reefs, she felt that something had shifted inside her. The snorkeling guide made one fact very clear–these colonies of tiny organisms would not last. In fact, we’d be lucky if they lasted 5 more years. She cared about the safety of these coral reefs more than she has cared about anything for a long, long time. She had to do something for the fragile, endangered habitat with its fish, mollusks, worms, crustaceans and many more. create a lab at her aunt’s house. She worked tirelessly–endlessly–sleeping only when she had to. “It’s what mom and dad would have done”, she thought. Her best friend Sam, would hang out with her everyday–eating pizza , fries, and whatever else he could get his hands on, keeping her company with his humor while Sophie worked on her experiments. And now, she has a biological solution in her hands. She hesitated at the door to the labs. Nervously, she shifted her lab report from one hand to the other. “I know that I have an innovative approach to solving the coral reef issue and I know I can help”, she said to no one. The image of being ridiculed by these professors, delayed her entry. She stood outside the door, wanting to run back–wanting to hide–glued to the icy spot. “Hey, Sophie!” She turned at the unexpected sound of Sam’s voice. “I’ve been…trying to catch up with you”, he panted–out of breath. “Let’s go in and…show them…what you’ve got”. Sophie tilted her head, smiled at Sam and opened the door. She walked confidently to the front, laid out her research on the podium and began her presentation. When her presentation ended, it was to the enthusiastic sound of the scientists’ applause.