Riley Paul Aims High and Shoots Far as a Leader, Archer, and Aspiring Veterinarian

Laurel Springs Spotlight


When you meet an ambitious, young individual like Riley Paul, you’re immediately inspired by her dedication to community, talent in archery, and passionate pursuit of a career in veterinary medicine. Her life already paints a picture of achievement and potential, and her happy demeanor brings a smile of your own to the surface! As a 9th grader at Laurel Springs and an impactful leader within the global community, Riley’s journey and aspirations shine extra bright under the student spotlight.

From Summer Program to Full-time Student Ambassador

Riley’s Laurel Springs path began in the 6th grade when she joined the Summer Program for a Career Explorations course. “I loved it so much – the learning approach, the course content – that I decided to join Laurel Springs full time!” This was during the heat of the COVID-19 pandemic, so many brick-and-mortar schools were struggling to transition from in-person learning to the online environment. “I really wanted stability,” shares Riley, “and I found that and so much more at Laurel Springs that summer. My Career Explorations course actually inspired my desire to one day be a veterinarian!”

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Following her introduction to online private education, Riley quickly found her footing and sense of belonging within Laurel Springs’ vibrant social community. At the start of 6th grade, she eagerly attended the Social Community Fair, which is where her journey into leadership roles ignited. “I remember seeing the student ambassadors helping at the event, and I immediately wanted to be one of them,” Riley remembers. “I made my intentions very clear to the other ambassadors at the time and ended up joining the program in 8th grade. I was committed to getting involved in as many things as possible!”


This year, Riley is the Student Ambassador Leader, helping to make sure that ambassadors get involved in as many school activities as they can. She emphasizes that feeling excited about their involvement is just as important as the involvement itself. “From Book Nook to Photography Art Exhibits and Spirit Weeks, our job is to help better the Laurel Springs community and student experience,” Riley says. She and her fellow ambassadors support a wide range of activities and events throughout the year – including Virtual Open Houses, Spirit Weeks, and student project exhibits. Riley also participates in Student Government at Laurel Springs, where her position as Student Ambassador Leader meaningfully supports the club’s efforts.


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Model United Nations and Future Leadership Aspirations

Her involvement with the Model United Nations (MUN) has been another cornerstone of her leadership experience at Laurel Springs. When Riley joined MUN her first year at Laurel Springs, she instantly fell in love with it – envisioning herself taking on the role of General Assembly President come middle school (which did, indeed, happen). Now, as the World Health Organization Committee Chair for the MUN at Laurel Springs, Riley leads with a focus on organizing content for committee meetings, actively participating in general assembly meetings, and ensuring the club continues its path of learning and engagement.


The highlight of Riley's MUN experience took place last year when she attended the Model United Nations Conference in New York City as the only middle school delegate from Laurel Springs. "It was an amazing opportunity," Riley recalls with enthusiasm. Not only did she get to meet friends she had been working with for years, but she also made a number of new connections, all while putting her MUN skills into practice on a global stage. "Being in the general assembly hall was incredible," she reflects, illustrating the excitement of participating in such an honorable event.


As she looks to the future, Riley dreams of continuing her involvement in clubs and leadership roles through college and beyond. “I’d like to go to Cornell University,” she shares. “I picture myself being super involved on campus and taking on leadership roles there, too!”


Finding Passion Outside of Laurel Springs’ Virtual Halls

Eight years ago, Riley picked up her first bow at a local archery range called Stowe Archers (a place where beginners – like herself at the time – not only learn the sport but also have the support needed to truly find passion in it). Her dedication to archery has seen her rise through the ranks – from novice archer to a coach and standout competitor. “I actually teach alongside my first-ever archery coach,” mentions Riley. “It’s so special and rewarding for both of us.”

Riley practices with barebow discipline and her competitive spirit has already brought her to the podium several times. Recently, she earned the local title of Barebow Cadet Female Champion at the 2024 Easton Youth and Collegiate Trophy Tournament in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and also placed third at the 55th USA Archery JOAD Indoor Target Nationals, which also took place in Lancaster. These accomplishments aren’t just a reflection of her talent but also her relentless pursuit of excellence in the environments that both bring her joy and challenge her.

Arrows to Academics

Riley thrives academically as a freshman with an A+ average, which is no surprise given her strong sense of determination and value of independence. “I love Laurel Springs!” she says with enthusiasm. The flexibility is perfect for an independent learner like herself and gives Riley the opportunity to attend archery competitions all around the country. “I’ve had experiences that I wouldn’t have had at my old public school,” she reflects – rehashing how much she has loved participating in Model United Nations.

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With a deep-seated love for biology, influenced by her mother and the heartbreaking loss of her dog, Archer, Riley plans for a career in veterinary medicine. “I have always had an affinity for animals, but I mainly want to become a veterinarian because of my late dog, Archer,” she shares. “Archer was less than a year old when we had to put him down due to an incurable issue that was causing him a lot of pain. There is nothing I would rather dedicate my life to than making sure that no animals have to endure that.”

As previously mentioned, Riley has her sights set on Cornell University; and, in the meantime, she hopes to become certified as a USA Archery Coach – further blending her talent and love for leadership in a way that only she can.

Navigating Goals Riley’s Way

Riley is truly a beam of light and inspiration for students everywhere. With a heart as focused and steady as her aim in archery, she demonstrates dedication and drive across every facet of her life. Her advice to other students is a great reminder of the endless possibilities waiting for those bold enough to chase after what they want: “GO FOR IT! Because you never know what’s going to happen. Go for that leadership position, that scholarship. You won’t know until you try. Don’t count yourself out.”

From the virtual halls of Laurel Springs to the archery range and beyond, Riley is crafting a future for herself that’s overflowing with opportunity. A story like hers reminds us all to aim high, shoot far, and never underestimate the impact of taking the shot.

About Laurel Springs

Laurel Springs is a fully-accredited, private online school for K-12 students. With a rigorous college-prep curriculum including AP and Honors courses, an ever-expanding schedule of in-person and virtual events, and a global student community, we’re ranked as one of the top private schools in the nation. Join us for a Virtual Open House to learn more and meet Student Ambassadors like Riley!


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