Maya Rodríguez – Wrapping up My first month!

These past few weeks have been full of learning curves that I’ve had to accept and overcome. The hardest one was the imposter syndrome, the feeling of not deserving the position in the first place. This is a sentiment that many children of immigrants can relate to. Our parents often have high expectations for us because they moved to a whole other country for their children. As their children, we have to navigate the minefield that is identity and belonging. I think that’s one of the surprising highlights of this internship so far. I’ve been able to accept this isolating feeling because I realize it’s a collective experience. Many of my fellow LHIP interns feel the same sentiments, yet this internship has been filled with so many mentors giving welcomed advice and much needed reassurance about our place here in the National Park Service. So far, the work I’ve been doing has been creating surveys to place around nearby parks that directly asks park-goers for critique. We surveyed Seneca Creek State Park for a place to stick our surveys where everyone could see. We also got the chance to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the park. With the cicadas rising from the ground, there seems to be a new energy propelling us into the year. This internship opportunity is part of that new beginning, as I am learning the ropes behind the National Park Service and its employees. I’ve also felt a sense of unity with my fellow interns who are so passionate about the same endeavors that it make me feel hopeful for the future of environmentalism in the US.

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