My family moved a lot growing up, but we always came back to Oak Harbor, Washington where I spent most of my life. I believe living in Oak Harbor on beautiful Whidbey Island has a lot to do with my love for the outdoors and passion for the environment. I played outside exploring in the woods and on the beaches and hiking has always been my favorite pastime. I joined the Navy as an Information System Technician right out of HS and was lucky enough to have my first duty station in Naples, Italy. As a lover of architecture and history I had a great time traveling all over Europe. After getting out of the Navy I completed my BS in Environmental Management from UMUC (UMGC). During this time, I had my two daughters whom I have been staying home with for 4 years. While I was job searching last year, I was turned down 27 times, each time for not having any relevant work experience in the field. Switching from IT to Environmental Management was a bigger undertaking than I had anticipated. I happened upon an opportunity with MAI from an ad on a job site and once I read more into the VetsWork Environment program I was hooked. Besides needing work experience I also needed to connect back with the PNW. I worked underground in equipment rooms for years as an IT and have been craving an opportunity to work outside and to be a part of a community that I feel like I fit in. I believe this internship will provide all this and more. I am excited to see the tools and principles I learned in school put to work in the real world and to expand my knowledge and skills. I am hoping to get a sense of direction for what I want to do with my career and to feel like I am a part of something bigger.