Teen of the week: Parkersburg high school student seeks dream job in marine biology | News, Sports, Jobs


Riley Smith worked as a lifeguard at the Greenmont Racquet and Swim Club pool in Vienna. (Photo provided)

VIENNA – Riley Smith, 18, was born in Dayton, Ohio, and raised in Vienna. Today, he attends Parkersburg High School, in his final year.

“I maintained a level 4.0 or higher throughout secondary school”, Smith said.

In his first year, Smith took three advanced placement courses, 11 honors, and a double credit psychology and sociology course from West Virginia University in Parkersburg. In his final year, Smith took AP Government and AP Literature, which earned him college credits at WVU-P.

“My favorite subjects at school are my art and science lessons”, he said.

Last year, her favorite course was herpetology, a branch of zoology that studies reptiles and amphibians. This year, Smith is taking his community service course. In this class, he assists the student service center by organizing tours for new students and helping to receive students for planning or meetings.

Riley Smith puts her hand behind a swimmer during a swim competition, so she doesn’t bang her head against the wall, at the North Hills Swim and Racquet Club pool in North Hills. (Photo provided)

“I have always been interested in football and marine life” Smith explained.

After high school, Smith plans to go to Ohio University, where he will study marine biology.

“I plan to specialize in environmental biology of fresh marine waters, with the intention of pursuing graduate studies for a master’s or doctorate in marine biology”, Smith said.

He said his dream job was to do something in marine biology that involved preserving the ocean.

“I hope to one day be able to contribute to the preservation of the ocean and marine life around the world” Smith said. “I want to be able to work with and study all of these different types of animals, and how they interact with each other and with us. My dream is to have a family and a house on the coast, where I can wake up knowing that I will take on my dream job and work as a marine biologist.

Riley Smith, center, plays football at Stadium Field, the home ground of Parkersburg High School. (Photo provided)

Smith worked as a lifeguard and swim coach for three years at the Greenmont Racquet and Swim Club and is certified in AED, CPR and First Aid. He said he really enjoyed working with all of the swimmers and the Greenmont pool swim team.

“One of my favorite things is when the kids finally have a ‘click’ and can swim a bit without one of us holding them up.” Smith explained. “They are so proud of themselves which makes it more enjoyable for us as teachers. “

In his spare time, Smith does volunteer work. He volunteered with the Vienna Public Library, tidying up books and cleaning up. During the holiday season, he volunteers for The Salvation Army and participated in the Red Kettle Campaign to help raise money for charity.

When not volunteering, Smith enjoys listening to rap music and watching Disney and action movies. He also enjoys spending time with his brother Reece, his friends, his two cats Cosmo and Duffy and playing football.

While at PHS, Smith was on the swimming and football teams. Smith starts left-back for the college football team this year.

Riley Smith teaches two boys how to swim at the pool at the Greenmont Racquet and Swim Club in Vienna. (Photo provided)

“I have been a letterer for three years and team captain this year”, Smith said. “I was voted best defensive player in my first year and outstanding player in my first year.”

Smith was also selected for the All Regions team during his junior year.

“I was very honored when I found out that I was captain of the football team this season”, he said. “I try to be a good role model for my teammates, doing my best to exemplify good sportsmanship, character, hard work, reliability, respect and discipline.”

James Dobbs can be contacted at [email protected]

Left to right, Riley Smith, director of the Olympics at Jackson Middle School and choir teacher Kristen Allodi, and Kendal Dominick, 17, at Jackson Middle School during the JMS Olympics. (Photo provided)

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