I grew up in a small town in Connecticut where I have spent roughly 23 years of my life. As a kid I was always drawn to the outdoors and spent much of my time in the woods with my friends where we would constantly be exploring and finding ourselves. As I got older, the woods we used to romp around in became housing developments or the land was sold to private companies and with that, the time I would spend outdoors was limited to the sports I played. In high school I found myself more concerned with partying and my lacrosse team than I was with my studies and upon graduation realized that I could benefit from some structure, and the Marine Corps infantry seemed like the best option for me to receive this.
My training and deployments were pretty intense and after my last tour in Afghanistan I realized that a career in the service was not well suited for my personal life goals. Upon completion I moved to Colorado and completed my B.A. in Environmental Studies at the University of Colorado. Living in Colorado I found myself once again drawn to the outdoors and began to pursue my childhood fascination and found it to be incredibly rewarding. I joined various clubs and volunteered at several conservation organizations. It did not take long for me to realize that this is the career path that I wanted to embark on.
During my senior year I joined the Veterans Green Corps where I joined 20 other veterans in the wildland fire corps program which provided us with the necessary certifications and experience required to become a wildland firefighter. Camping in the backcountry of Colorado, I found this experience to be very rewarding and was fortunate enough to receive the crew leader position about midway through the fire season.
I decided to join the Mt. Adams Institute VetsWork program because of the great experience I had previously with the Veterans Green Corps program in Colorado. It is a great opportunity to receive on the job training to develop the essential skills and knowledge of a full time permanent employee in the natural resource field. I am confident this year will provide me that while having the opportunity to explore the vast and beautiful wilderness of the Pacific Northwest. I look forward to making new connections, gaining further insight and learning how a person in the position I want operates in the field.