Making the decision to become a VetsWork AmeriCorps member with the Mt. Adams Institute could be described as a leap of faith for me. I was at a point in my life where I was in a comfortable routine—I had a good job where I performed at a high level. However, there was not a sense of fulfillment from being passionate and satisfied in my professional life. That lack of completeness drove me to leave a stable and secure life and venture into what could be described as the unknown. There can be a great deal of uncertainty or hesitancy when one makes a grand change in their life but as the saying goes—‘nothing chanced, nothing gained.’
While at the outset this journey may have begun as a leap of faith, it has quickly descended into a landing zone of opportunity. Three remarkable organizations have partnered in a manner that will allow me to grow by learning and acquiring new skills in the natural resource field. From the beginning there have been people willing to help guide me in a way that will allow me to take advantage of a vast array of opportunities provided by the VetsWork internship.
The Mt. Adams Institute, along with AmeriCorps and the United States Forest Service, has provided an opportunity for me to mesh my professional life with the personal values and ethos I embrace. In the Writer Analyst position on the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest there is a chance to have an impact on the local community in a healthy and productive way. Additionally, being able to work with the Forest Service allows me to have an impact on our nation’s natural resources. The combination of being able to impact the local community in a way that is harmonious with the natural world is an opportunity that will be extremely rewarding for me personally.
While I am now reassured in the leap of faith I took, there was still the initial doubt that I was making the right call to uproot my entire life to take a job all the way across the country. But with the support of the Mt. Adams Institute staff and the chance to learn with the Forest Service I am continually grateful for taking a chance. Everyday I now look forward to the present opportunities and for what the future holds.