Ryan Schmidt was raised in Portland, Oregon, and graduated with honors in chemistry from Willamette University in 2017. Ryan led Willamette’s primary pre-health club, Institute for Healthcare Improvement, and worked in an organic chemistry lab as an undergraduate. After serving with Impact America, Ryan hopes to return to Portland and attend medical school.

Name and describe a memorable place you’ve been.
I traveled throughout Yellowstone National Park last summer with some friends from college. The mountains and lakes were beautiful. I hope to return next summer for an extended backpacking trip. The best areas in the park were away from the tourist centers, very quiet, and full of wildlife. We saw bison, wolves, and grizzly bears with their cubs– luckily from a distance! A park ranger told me that if I was attacked by a grizzly bear, I should make sure to climb a tree. Grizzly bears don’t like to climb trees.

What is your favorite quote from a book, film, or song?
“You can’t be that kid standing at the top of the water slide overthinking it. You have to go down the chute.” –Tina Fey