This week KGUN9 is highlighting some of the outstanding students graduating from the University of Arizona. Tucson native Isabella Pershing will be graduating with her bachelors degree in conservation biology with a minor in communications.

Pershing found her passion for environmental education through internship experiences, but she said this isnt the direction she expected to land in.

If you wouldve asked me what I was doing when I was 10, I wouldve never considered that, she said.

As a girl interested in science, she said it was a little intimidating, I think I always felt not smart enough, or not strong enough to do it. So pushing myself to get this degree has been incredible.

Eventually she found her place in her journey, and she hopes to educate others on the importance of their role in appreciating the environment.

I get to share that with kids. Theyre just as a part of the environment as anyone else and they have a right to protect it and a duty to protect it, she said.

During her many experiences through her internships educating students from all over Tucson, her favorite was getting to teach at her elementary school.

In one of my internships I was actually placed in the elementary school that I went to. I got to teach at Wheeler and it was this wonderful full circle moment, she said.

Now, shes wrapping up her time in Tucson. Shes spent the last part of her time here at the Cooper Center, an outdoor field trip location for Tucson Unified School District students to learn about native plants. Despite her love for desert ecology, shes ready to take the next step.

Ive wanted to broaden my ecological understanding. I know the Sonoran Desert. I know these plants, I know these animals, said Pershing.

Pershing already has a job offer at the Baton Rouge Zoo to join their educational team. Shes thankful for the University of Arizona for how its helped her prepare.

Theres a lot to be done. And theres a lot of opportunities. It will be useful where I go. And thats a great feeling. I hope to improve the places I go and be an asset, and I think the U of A made me one.”