The 2nd Year

I am Diego Rojas, I am from the Dominican Republic and I am 18 years old. I attend Madison Park Technical high school with a vocation in Carpentry. This school year I am a senior and can’t wait to graduate. I love playing baseball and basketball. I play baseball for other teams outside of my school and this year I will be playing basketball for my school.

Last summer I applied to Branching Out because it was something that I was interested in. love working outside, and I love construction also I like anything that has to do with nature. I think that my love for working outside comes from when I moved back to the Dominican Republic with my dad. There I spent a lot of time outdoors and it really influenced how I feel about working outside and nature. Coming back again this summer has given me an even better experience, having new supervisors and having hard working coworkers have really made this summer better. One of the most important things I learned about this summer is about landscape design. It is a really good experience to see how all of these landscape architects all thought of the ideas for all of these national parks. Especially Olmsted and how he took a landscape and changed it into a beautiful park for all of man to enjoy while still making it look natural.

I decided to come back because I had a great time last year. I loved working outside and I worked with great people. I came back this summer hoping that things would be the same and it turned out better than I thought it would. Another reason why I came back was because of my love for carpentry. The program saw that I showed an interest in carpentry and exposed me to as much carpentry as they could. They provided me with a good work experience while I was a school year ambassador last year at Saugus Ironworks national historic site. During the summer they also gave me a fence project that I was in charge of and really enjoyed doing.

This summer was different than last years in many ways but one of the biggest ways it was different was with the responsibilities that they gave me because I am a second year. They let me lead groups in field projects and had me represent the program by saying what it is all about when we met new people or programs. The biggest responsibility however was the fence project that I was in charge of. The fence in the back of our quarters C office was very old and broken in many parts so I was given the opportunity to fix it. At first I was nervous about it when we went to buy all of the materials but I was also pretty confident in my carpentry skills. Throughout the summer, I would pick people to help me on Friday mornings and they would help me build this new fence. It was a lot of work and I did have to come back with my coworker Gabriel to work on the fence after the program ended but it was all worth it. The fence came out amazing and now I was asked to repair and rebuild all of the fences that are behind all of the quarter houses.

This summer was both amazing and fun. It was very different from the last one but all the things that changed were for the better and it provided me with a lot of new experiences, friends and opportunities. I can’t wait to see what this school year will bring for me and what may come the upcoming summer.


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