The inspiring story of Bobbi Wilson, a 9-year-old budding scientist and environmental hero, has been making headlines lately. Last month, the Yale School of Public Health held a special ceremony honoring Bobbi for her work in collecting 27 spotted lanternflies, an invasive species that is harmful to trees and other plants. Bobbi was presented with the title of “donor scientist” and her collection was entered into the Peabody Museum of Natural History database.
This accolade comes just three months after Bobbi, who is Black, made headlines when former Caldwell city council member Gordon Lawshe, who is white, called local police on the girl. She was collecting spotted lanternfly specimens when her neighbor became frightened and called the cops.
The incident sparked a wave of support for Bobbi and her love of science. She was awarded the Caldwell Environmental Commission’s Sustainability Award for her contributions to improving the town’s environment. At least one science writer has given Bobbi a collection of books and stickers to encourage her passion for learning. And, of course, the recognition from Yale.
Bobbi’s mother and sister spoke out about racial profiling and the incident at a Caldwell city council meeting a few weeks later. During the meeting, Bobbi’s mother and her 13-year-old daughter, Hayden Wilson, called the episode an instance of racial profiling.
Bobbi’s story is a reminder that it’s never too early to make a difference in the world. Her bravery and determination to make a difference in her community and the environment is truly inspiring. We can all learn something from Bobbi’s courage and dedication to making a positive change.