Through my time in this program, I have met so many people with a story similar to mine. As a first-generation Latina who had no idea she could have the career of her dreams, this program gave me and MANO interns connections we could not have anywhere else. Additionally, they have allowed me to learn and grow in the Forest Service. So far in my experience in the agency, I have met some of the most amazing people, especially women, who have been inspirational. I have received support from my coworkers, which has helped me acclimate to this small town so far from my family.
I was chosen to be a Recreation Special Uses Resource Assistant. I thought this would be a simple position dealing with administration and filing. Oh man, was I wrong. This position is far more complex than what I was expecting, yet I have loved it every day since I started. I have been able to use my skills in Microsoft Excel to help organize the files, learn about national lands, meet outfitters, and so much more. Plus, my mentor has given me the chance to explore different areas of the agency, where everyone has been willing to answer all my questions. I have truly felt welcomed by everyone, and knowing I also have the support from the Hispanic Access Foundation, I have felt that I belong here.
Agency: U.S Forest Service
Program: Resource Assistant Program (RAP)
Location: San Juan National Forest