the path forward and my reflections on the foregoing fort – John George

The last week of the internship is here and all of us interns are presenting our results to our fellow peers, hiring authorities, and the public online. Watching a coalition of people working towards diversity in a remarkably homogenous workforce is comforting. Some seek to uncover the facts of our collective heritage and present them in an unedited story that can help minorities connect to history; Others present their scientific research and talk about wildlife, ecosystem degradation, community outreach, or community representation. There is a lot of information coming through as we all view a 10-15 minute flash of a presentation that talks about their summer projects. What I could easily see in every presentation is that nobody had an easy summer. I feel solidarity watching us each struggle on our own paths forward because there is no way but forward. I find myself to be in good company.

The NPS building and my oasis from the hot sun for the summer

This historic opportunity afforded to me still comes as a surprise even as the sun sets on it. As I was clearing my stuff out of the work room that I had temporarily took over for five fortnights, I felt in my body the wheel of time turning forward. I can look back and smile at this fortuitous internship with warm regards and a new vocational confidence knowing that when given the chance to work with others that hold similar passions that I can hold my own and most of all be supportive of our common goal of preserving nature’s beauty. I have been told by my respected supervisor how the career path ahead of me can wind, turn, or drop off, and gave helpful advice on how she navigated the rocky terrain of rising in the federal ranks. She is a wonderful woman and her guidance was much appreciated. Also we both think Monty Python is the pinnacle of comedy and a cursory Google search seemed to agree with us at the time.

Alicia, my supervisor, and our last hoorah
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