Every HATCH Experience takes a heartfelt investment of thousands of volunteer hours, generous financial support, and a limitless commitment to helping current and future leaders HATCH a better world. That’s why emails like this from HATCH NextGen’ers like Hannah Herbst move us so profoundly, and keep us focused on bringing together the hearts, minds, and souls that have the courage to make a difference. For background, Hannah was named “America’s Top Young Scientist” for inventing a portable turbine that generates clean energy from ocean movement, and joined us at HATCH Big Sky in September 2016.
Yarrow – thank you. I wish I could be with you all this year, but the hurricane and school is keeping me in Florida – I came to HATCH as a sophomore in high school. My school is unique – I was really starting out as a full time college freshman, with the age and social skills of a high school student. For the first time in my life, I was afraid to speak out in classes, ask questions, or contribute to discussion. Even though I knew I had earned the right to be in college, no matter my age, I felt like I didn’t belong. A month into the year, however, I came to HATCH. A week in Big Sky that changed my life.
At HATCH, I met people in all different fields, gaining new appreciation for how the arts interacts with science. I met fellow students who have become close friends. Throughout the week, we merged between groups, learning about music and speaking, writing and engineering, how to look through the lens of someone else’s eyes to understand their perspective. I learned from a scientist from Germany. I learned from an activist changing the way others see disability. I learned from kids my age, tackling big problems with simple solutions, sharing their experiences with a confidence that was inspiring. I learned from every speaker and every person I came across, because not only was I learning from them, they were learning from me, too.
HATCH made me realize that it doesn’t matter that I’m young. It doesn’t matter that as an engineering student I may be the only girl in the room. What matters is that I have ideas, and a voice to share them. That I have questions that need to be asked. The HATCH experience was life changing for me. I have made connections with others that will last a lifetime. Now, 365 days later, I’ve shared my experiences at HATCH with many others, inspiring them too to take on the world with new perspective.
Thank you, Yarrow, for the opportunity to share my experience. Feel free to share with others – I want to inspire them to HATCH a better world too!
Because of the efforts of dozens of volunteers, and generous believers, we’ve helped give wings to a young girl who is most certainly going to move forward in the world and make her mark. And when she does, the world will know – and be better for it. Thank you. Hannah, you are inspiring to us all – a bright light, showing that a brighter future is indeed possible.