15 October 2021

Starting a career in the Forest.

Written by: Abel Figueroa

It still feels like it was only yesterday that I got my diploma in the mail from ASU, although that was almost one full year ago now. Even with just a year out of college the world still feels so crazy. I suppose as I get older that's just how life is, one tough thing after another. From the ever-multiplying covid variants to the supply chain of the world coming to a halt. Numerous coaches, friends, and family have always said those timeless quotes like "when the going gets tough the tough get going." It wasn't until after graduating from ASU that I understood what that meant. For most of the year 2020 and well into the year 2021 I was left working in a retail position that I had no drive for and thus for me no real career path forward. However, I kept pushing ahead and made it a point to apply to just about any opportunity I saw fit. I desperately wanted to use the degree that I had just earned and prove my skills to anybody willing to employ me. Eventually, the endless filling out of applications finally paid off in the form of this internship. Getting a 'yes' to the application in mid-August was such a feeling of relief. I finally had a direction for my career, an opportunity to learn new skills, and enjoy the environment; what more could I ask for? Granted the position known as a special resource assistant sounded vague to start with, but now I'm glad the title is mine. Thus far I can honestly say that I have thoroughly enjoyed, learning about all the fine details of the forest service and the permitting process itself. To anybody reading this, keep your goals in sight and keep moving toward them. I can't thank my program enough for providing me with such a fulfilling and fun opportunity to grow and thrive in the world today.

Agency: U.S Forest Service

Program: Resource Assistant Program (RAP)

Location: Tonto National Forest

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