Alexander’s trip also includes operating the Panama Canal gates, holding an iguana, having a newly discovered species of sweet bee named after him (called the Augochlora Alexanderi), seeing new plants and animals and much more. Smiling and pleased with his Make-A-Wish adventure, Alexander refers to it as his “life wish.”
Now 21 years old, Alexander doesn’t let a day go by without thinking back to his wish and how it shaped his life. He now spends his days studying Environmental Sciences at Center Washington University. He’s also an avid outdoorsman. “I realized I wanted to protect the insects and biological life that I was always interested in when I was younger,” he said.
Alexander is able to think about his time in Panama and how important it is for him to bring together people to protect the insects, plants and animals that he experienced there. His wish didn’t just help him on his journey to becoming an environmental scientist: It also helped his family get the closure they needed to begin the next chapter of their lives. His mother, Lisa, remembers the trip fondly, reflecting on the friends that the family made and how she hopes that one day they will be able return to Panama to visit again. “His wish trip remains the greatest trip our family has ever taken,” she said.
While he holds onto the dream of returning to Panama, Alexander can bide his time with completing his education and continuing to grow his substantial collection of insects.