My name is Connor McCarty. I live in Bakersfield, California, and I am 17 years old. What should have been some great high school years turned in to an extremely difficult time of my life. Starting my freshman year of high school, I lost all my life-long friends after a fight over them drinking alcohol and smoking. I didn't agree with their decision, and they abandoned and shunned me. I then went in to a deep depression and stopped going to school. These were dark times. I spent all day in bed, stopped playing baseball, and didn't even want to go outside. However, during the last 11 months, my life has turned around completely. I have returned to a different school, returned to playing baseball again, and my life has been the best it's ever been. I am now sharing my backstory, as I am not afraid to let people know about my struggles. And now, the reason I'm asking for donations on this website. I have always had a passion for severe weather and severe storms, but I never knew that this passion would save my life and help bring me out of such a darkness. This last summer I was fortunate to be able to head to the central plains and chase storms. Yes, I went storm chasing. It sounds crazy, but this passion has now become a reality, a hobby, and perhaps even a career. I met many new friends and learned a lot about myself and what I'm capable of. The downside is that it's very expensive to pay for hotel rooms, gas money, food, etc. This summer, I have the opportunity to go on a lecture tour and learn from experts in the field. I want to head back out on the plains, chase storms, meet even more new friends, and learn more about meteorology and the atmosphere. Neither my family or I am able to finanacially swing this trip. I am not a begger, and I don't see this as begging. Any little amount counts towards me reaching my goal, and life long dream of continuing a career for my passion, meteorology. If I do end up reaching my goal, the money would go towards a 7 day lecture tour with legendary storm chaser, Roger Hill. It is 100% educational, and a great stepping stone to eventually getting a meteorology degree in college. Thank you so much for letting me share my story, and I'm hoping this has inspired you to donate any amount of money to this fund.