Jake Budde, a senior at Kent State University in Ohio, said his school trip to Costa Rica is a make-or-break experience. Budde studies botany and hopes to be on a flight at the end of the semester.
"This is the opportunity of a lifetime," Budde told Daily Voice. "Having this on my résumé is going to shape my career for the future."
The trip will involve visiting five sites in Costa Rica over two to three weeks and trekking through the jungle collecting data. The country is one of the most diverse places in the world, biologically speaking, Budde said.
The only issue is the price: It costs $2,200 plus travel and passport fees. Budde has been collecting donations to fund the trip and is willing to take out a loan if necessary. His GoFundMe page jad collected $850 as of Tuesday, Oct. 6.
Budde said he first became interested in botany during his junior year of high school.
"Even before that I was just kind of growing stuff," he said. "I like watching things turn into plants from seeds."
Budde also is president of his fraternity and works at a botanical garden on weekends.
His longtime friend, Devin Frasche, described him as both easygoing and passionate.
"He definitely has always been dedicated to doing well in school and he's always done so," Frasche said. "He takes a lot of pride in his work. He's very intelligent and just determined to accomplish anything he's tried."
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