Unexpected Opportunities Unexpected Opportunities
28 November 2022

Unexpected Opportunities

For my first blog post, I wanted to introduce myself and how I ended up working as a women's history intern with the National Park Service. My name is Samira Rosario, I'm 27 years old and I've been an intern with the NPS for 10 months. Before working with the Hispanic Access Foundation, I was an intern with the National Council for Preservation and Education alongside the National Park Foundation. This was not an opportunity I thought I would ever encounter--but let me go back to the beginning.

In 2021, I was finishing up my MA in cultural anthropology and began applying for internships back in the US in all the fields that interested me; social justice, cultural preservation, education, and history. Little did I know that I would soon stumble across a job that offered me experiences in all these fields. After applying for jobs for several months, and receiving rejection after rejection, I opened up my email to find yet another rejection.

However, this rejection was different. The hiring manager told me that they found my resume to be a good fit for a new position they were expecting to advertise soon and offered me an interview. The position was a women's history intern with the National Park Service at Harper's Ferry Center. Naturally, I accepted and shortly after received a call saying I'd been selected for the job. I was thrilled, this internship was everything I dreamed of--I'd be working on diversifying the content of the project "Dressing the Part: A Portfolio of Women's History in the NPS."

After accepting the opportunity to work remotely, time flew by as I helped research, write and publish articles for the project. My main job is focused on diving into the history of Women of Color and other underrepresented women in the Park Service's history and sharing their stories. One of my favorite works so far is a series we published on women with disabilities who worked for the NPS--a largely overlooked population in the parks. I cannot begin to describe how meaningful I find this work and I'm thankful to have found a job in which I can contribute to the community.

While this internship was set to end after a couple months, my supervisor connected me with the Hispanic Access Foundation and thanks to them I've been allowed to continue working on this project. Ultimately my goal is to continue working with the NPS, which ironically enough, is an organization I'd never considered working for before my internship. Only upon working with them have I come to recognize the important work they do--not only by protecting natural lands--but by fostering cultural resource opportunities and educational programs for the public. I guess what I'd like to share with others looking into their future, is don't be afraid to apply for all the jobs you're interested in (despite which qualifications you meet), be open to rejection, and remember that even one short internship can result in unexpected opportunities.

Agency: National Park Service

Program: Harpers Ferry Center Program

Location: Harpers Ferry Center for Media Services

MANO Project
is an initiative of Hispanic 
Access Foundation.

P: (202) 640-4342