Embracing a New Journey Embracing a New Journey
16 August 2023

Embracing a New Journey

May 22nd marked the first day of my National Trails Systems Communications Fellowship with the National Park Service (NPS). As time crept closer to my first Microsoft Teams meeting, I couldn’t seem to relax. To say I was nervous is an understatement. Eventually, the clock struck 11:30 am, and I entered the meeting titled “Meet The Team!” Almost immediately, my nervousness melted away as I was greeted by four friendly faces who genuinely seemed eager to speak to me. In fact, that's how much of my first week went: I would be nervous to join a meeting, but then everyone in the meeting would treat me with the utmost respect and kindness.

Before this, I never had the opportunity to work remotely, so this is a brand-new experience for me. New experiences are often scary, but the NPS and the HAF have made it a breeze for me so far. These first two weeks of my fellowship have focused on orientation and have encouraged me to always ask questions, which I have greatly appreciated. Despite my love for the outdoors, I did not have much prior knowledge of the logistics of the NPS, HAF, and other adjacent organizations. So far, I have had ample opportunities to explore the ins and out of these complex agencies.

Further, working remotely has provided me with a lot of flexibility in my day. My daily start and end times are flexible, all that matters is that I work a full eight-hour workday. Additionally, I am able to work in my pajamas, which is a benefit I think anyone would enjoy. Nevertheless, my absolute favorite part of working remotely is I get to spend time with my dog, Peanut, during the workday. In fact, he is sitting on my lap as I write this blog post. 

Although I am only a few weeks into my fellowship, I am already incredibly grateful for the opportunities it has provided me. I am optimistic that the NPS and HAF will have a considerable effect on my professional career and my personal life. As I grow, I hope to have a positive effect on them as well. I truly can not wait to see where this fellowship will take me.

MANO Project
is an initiative of Hispanic 
Access Foundation.

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