Hello everybody, once again I’m Gabriel Vasquez. I come from the Dominican Republic and it’s been six years since I started to reside in Dorchester. I got to urban science academy where my career specialists introduced me to the National Park Service (NPS). I have worked for the NPS for three summers now and it is definitely one of the greatest things that have ever happened to me.
My First two summers involved with the NPS I was part of the youth conservation corps (YCC). YCC of 4 to 5 youth and they only work at three different sites which are Fredrick Law Olmsted National Historic Site, John F. Kennedy Birthplace National Historic Site and the Longfellow House- Washington Headquarters National Historic Site. YCC gives its participants a chance to gain experience in historical landscape maintenance and restoration. I had a lot of fun as a part of YCC and I will be eternally grateful for all those who provided me with the opportunity and thought me everything that I know today I stand as a part of the field team for Branching Out where I have been given the opportunity to partner my knowledge and experience in the field.
This currently my third year involves with the NPS but this year I am a part of the Branching Out Programs field team. In comparison to the YCC Branching Out offers not only the opportunity of working and getting introduced to a variety of historical landscapes (seven parks throughout the summer), Branching Out also trains their participants to be able to speak in public which I consider to be a great and useful skill. Branching Out also includes an amazing travel project for a week where we go to a national park in another state within the northeast region and help them out with whatever project that they give us. Throughout the week we stay at a school campus and it gives us a great opportunity to bond with each other. Something else that Branching Out has is educational portions in which we do activities and learn about things that will help us out throughout the week such as plant or tree Id, how to do path and tree assessments, mapping, etc.
In all Branching Out is very different from what I did at YCC. Though I did do a lot of similar work in both positions, there were a lot of components that were different, such as the education and focus on public speaking. I had an amazing time in both positions and I loved all of the people that I worked with. The transition from YCC to Branching Out was a good one because my position at YCC really helped me out in Branching Out and let me take on bigger responsibilities. The past three summers have been amazing for me and have really started paving the way for what I want to study in the future. I can only hope that the next summers will be just as amazing and that I will keep on learning.