By PAUL PAYNE
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
It is the rare teen who does not dread doing homework.
But in Paulina Cradeur’s case, the hours spent hitting the books every night are a prelude to a career in the sciences.
The Analy High School junior hopes someday to parlay her affinity for math and biology into a job as an animal researcher and environmentalist who travels the globe trying to make a difference.
“My schedule is pretty hectic,” said the 15-year-old from Sebastopol who carries a class load that includes advanced-placement and honors classes. “I’m usually up pretty late doing homework. There’s not a lot of sleep.”
Her mother, Carrie Moore, said her daughter’s work ethic has helped her achieve a straight-A grade point average. It’s not unusual for Paulina to study for about five hours a night, she said.
“She’s just always done that,” Moore said. “It’s her habit that she’s formed.”
Her studious ways helped win her a nomination last year to the Washington Youth Summit on the Environment. She was among a group of 250 students nationwide selected to participate in the conference in Virginia.
“I’ve always been really interested in science,” she said. “We stayed at George Mason University and met with representatives on Capitol Hill. We also went to the National Smithsonian Institute.”
Cradeur said the trip opened her eyes to challenges facing the environment while solidifying her career plans.
“Our environmental status now is really bad,” she said. “We need to grow a lot more awareness about it and start to go more green.”
When Cradeur isn’t thinking about science, she’s either playing doubles tennis or her flute. She’s a member of the varsity tennis team, where she hopes to be a top-seeded singles player next year. And she is the band. She began playing the flute about seven years ago.
She said she got into tennis in part because in other sports she was either scared of the ball or not good enough.
“I like tennis because I actually think it’s really fun,” she said. “And I can do it well.”
Cradeur has three older siblings who no longer live at home. She got off to a flying start in school after the family moved to England so her brother could attend the International Waldorf school.
She attended kindergarten early and returned to Sebastopol a year ahead of others her age.
In middle school, she received a presidential medal signed by Presidential Barack Obama for academic excellence.
“She has always been ahead of the pack academically,” her mother said.
It’s not all about serious stuff for Paulina. She has five cats to think about and care for. She also squeezes in time for her active social life and boyfriend.
In the not-too-distant future, she’ll begin looking at colleges along the California coast.
Her mother encourages her and even stays up with her at night until she finishes her homework. She said the fact that both Paulina’s parents are college graduates helped.
“Both of us were really good students,” she said. “But we never had the level of homework they have now.”
You can reach Staff Writer Paul Payne at 568-5312 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
NAME Paulina Cradeur
Birthplace: Santa Rosa, lives in Sebastopol
Lives with: Her mother, Carrie Moore, and has three adult siblings who live elsewhere. Dad is Jay Cradeur, also of Sebastopol.
What’s in her iPod: I listen to Pandora. “I like being surprised.” I like Bon Iver.
Favorite hobby: Tennis, baking
Dream job: Travel around world doing research on animals
Favorite TV show: “Modern Family”
Favorite food: Tacos
Quote: Live life with no regrets.