The Your Parks, Your Stories series features park users and staff and their personal experiences in Pittsburgh's parks. Click here to share your own park story.
All through school, I thought that I would be an accountant.
That was until I went to Science & Technology Academy. There are four concentrations there and when it was time to pick mine, I was set on engineering. But when it came time to select my concentration,my mom accidentally chose Environment & Energy instead of Forms & Functions.
So, there I am on the first day of 10th grade thinking I would be doing engineering and my schedule said environmental science! I didn’t complain though, I just went with it.
Weeks went by and I came to realize that this had to be the best concentration: We always had cool science projects, informative field trips, and our teacher got us involved in the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy’s High School Urban EcoStewards. We would walk from our school in Oakland to Schenley Park to help pull invasive species. Little did I know that I’d return to do work with Parks Conservancy later in life.
When college came I still had engineering in my mind, so I set out to study Environmental Systems Engineering. Not long after, I changed my mind and transferred to Penn State Altoona to study Environmental Studies. In the second semester of my sophomore year, I found out about a summer camp counselor position with the Parks Conservancy.
The excitement was real for me. Imagine being in college and being able to get real experience in your field. During my camp position, I also helped with Buzzword. These experiences helped me to think of what I could do in the future.
The following summer, I returned to the Parks Conservancy as their Buzzword intern. My experiences were amazing. I didn’t expect to go to real meetings every day or attend a national conference. Eventually, a position opened up and I became the Conservancy's Community Nature Educator.
Since starting as the Community Nature Educator, I've played a big role in the Conservancy's Buzzword events, coordinated Junior Garden Buds programs for kids ages 4 - 9, and helped to kick-start new all-ages programming in August Wilson Park.