After Julian Pikras finishes his education, he wants to enter the Peace Corps.
Pikras, a rising senior at South Fayette, wants to earn his undergraduate degree from Penn State University. He wants to major in environmental science and minor in a social studies field.
It’s fitting that Pikras, who was recently announced as South Fayette School Board’s next student representative, will sit next to Superintendent Ken Lockette at future meetings, considering Lockette spent four years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Kazakhstan.
“I’ve gotten to talk to him briefly about it,” Pikras said. “I really want to go deeper into that with him.”
Pikras is taking over for Kristen Davis, who spent the last year at the student representative and graduated from South Fayette in early June. The student representative is the intermediary between the student body and the school board, as Pikras will give monthly reports to the board about going-ons at the schools.
“I think (being a student representative) is extremely important because whenever it comes to government, kids tend to be more apathetic because they think no one wants to hear our opinions,” he said. “But when it comes to this, kids know they have a voice and they can affect what’s going on, so that inspires them.”
While Pikras’ passion is in environmental science, he’s also interested in civics.
“I have a really deep passion for history and social studies,” he said. “I have endless curiosity for how the process works, and I want to see how the process works, because I know how much it does affect the community.”
Pikras’ interest in environmental science was sparked when he took ninth grade biology, as he was fascinated by the cause-and-effect relationship between the the nature and humans.
“I’m really passionate about protecting and conserving our natural resources,” Pikras said. “I think that’s something that’s not being done right now. It’s the most important issue we should be talking about, because it means the future of our planet.”
Pikras spends his free time working on a community garden in Upper St. Clair, where him and his mother grow herbs and vegetables.
“It’s a really interesting experience, and the people there are so knowledgeable,” he said. “We all collaborate and improve our gardens, and every year we yield more crops.”
He hopes to one day use his knowledge of the environment and government while in the Peace Corps.
“I’d love to take my experience in environmental science and my government experience and take it to small countries to create change,” he said. “I would hope that I could, with insight in local government and environmental science, help those communities in whatever way they need.”