Douglas, the son of Gregg Weinandy and Terri Searcy, is a 2004 graduate of Bucyrus High School. He will be entering his second year of a graduate program in Criminal Justice, Policy, and Leadership at Eastern Kentucky University this fall.
What is your favorite aspect of college life?
“My favorite aspect of college life is being challenged academically and intellectually by my college professors. These individuals have been influential in helping me achieve my goals throughout my time in college. Professors have challenged me in many ways that have brought out the best I have to offer in this world. They continue to challenge me on a daily basis by making me think outside of the box. All of the hard work and sacrifices pay off when we put forth our best effort in all we do. However, I owe a lot of thanks to my friends, family, colleagues, and mentors that have helped me along the way.”
What new interest or courses of study have you discovered at college?
“There are a couple of areas of study that have piqued my interest throughout college. I have developed an interest in the study of the legal system and law. Rules and guidelines are a normal part of modern society, and it's very interesting to discuss. Most people don't talk much about how or why laws were created. However, there are many laws in different jurisdictions throughout the United States, and they are all interpreted in a different manner. Classical and modern systems of rules and laws have intrigued me throughout my academic studies.
I have also developed an interest in learning more about the conservation of wildlife throughout my time in college. Invasive species are often ignored in a lot of discussions today, but they are a growing problem throughout the United States. These invasive species have the ability to change the way we live in the future. Harmful algal (cyanobacteria) blooms are an increasing problem throughout the summer in Lake Erie as well. However, they are also a growing problem in other parts of the country to include Florida's red tide. Water is not only vital to the environment, but it's also vital to people and modern society. Fresh and clean water is already the source of conflicts around the world, and the importance it plays in modern society will only increase as our climate changes. This is most likely one of the most important future issues regarding global security efforts in the future.”
In what ways has the college experience changed/improved you?
“My college experiences have given me the ability to grow as a person and have a sense of purpose. I have changed quite a bit from those experiences at the collegiate level. Being surrounded by motivated people who are anxious to achieve their life-long goals is very motivating. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time learning from my instructors and peers. Building these connections will allow me to put my leadership abilities to good use in my personal and professional life.”
What advice would you give an incoming college freshman?
“College is about abandoning our comfort zones and taking more risks. Incoming freshman should challenge themselves to become a better person every day. Unique experiences and situations will present themselves throughout those college years. Look at these experiences as the foundation to build the future you want. Take advantage of the help people offer throughout those years, and use those experiences to help you achieve your goals. Don't be afraid to ask for help either. There are a lot of people who can help everyone achieve their goals.”
What is one item on your bucket list?
“One of the biggest items on my bucket list is to take an extended road trip across the United States. I would love to get in a car, roll the windows down, and drive into the open countryside until the wheels fall off of the car. There is so much open land to explore, people to meet, and places to eat at across the country. Along the way, I would have to take aerial photographs and videos of all the amazing places with my drones. Must see places would include: Yosemite National Park, the Golden Gate Bridge, Fenway Park, and Grand Canyon National Park. Taking a long road trip across the country would allow me to create memories that will last a lifetime. Hopefully, it would also encourage those friends and family to do the same.”
Congratulations and good luck in the future, Douglas!
To learn more about the scholarships offered through the Foundation, visit www.cfcrawford.org/scholarships.