Cheyanne Conrath is a leader. She’s driven to succeed – even in the face of adversity. She embodies everything it means to be a Mountaineer.
As a high school freshman in Petersburg, West Virginia, Conrath wasn’t just worried about fitting in and whether to take biology or chemistry.
She was also worried about where she would lay her head at night.
“I was actually homeless my freshman year of high school,” she said.
Searching for a way to change her perspective, Conrath enrolled in an agriculture class that allowed her to focus on something other than her current hardship.
While Conrath loved participating in agriculture-related classes and extracurricular activities, she didn’t realize she wanted to be an agricultural education teacher until her senior year.
“That was extremely stressful for me because I always like to have a plan way ahead of time,” she said. “I knew that I wanted to become a teacher when I took part in the Envirothon competition. My agriculture teacher was a wonderful coach through this competition and helped me realize I was passionate about the work we were doing.”
With a path in mind, Conrath visited WVU to see if the university and the agricultural and extension education program were a good fit.
“I chose WVU because my adviser, Harry Boone, was able to show me the many opportunities that WVU had to offer,” she said. “My particular interests were in clubs and internships. Since enrolling, I have joined the Soil Judging Team as well as Collegiate FFA. I’ve also interned for NRCS as well as the U.S. Forest Service in Oregon.”
While extracurricular activities are important, Conrath is very focused on her future career goals – one of which is to become an agriculture education teacher.
“Once I become a teacher, I hope to help students find their ‘home’ and passion in agriculture,” she said. “I hope to be an inspiration to students I may teach, not because of the hardships I’ve faced but because of my drive and ‘want to.’”
Oh, and she also plans to attend the WVU College of Law and become an environmental lawyer.