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My personal journey

As a high school student from California, the idea that I’d end up attending a small college in the mountains seemed, for lack of a better word, insane. The plan was to attend a University of California school; I couldn’t have possibly foreseen the transformation that was soon to morph the very essence of who I am. I remember stumbling upon Fort Lewis College on the internet—the school seemed beautiful and friendly but a bit secluded and small, especially considering it wasn’t much larger than my high school.

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My speech for Skyhawk Saturday

As much as all of you might not realize it, every student in this room has something in common. You are all here because you are thinking of your future and pursuing the path of college. I was in the same place as you, just four short years ago. I know the decision you are being faced with now. It is hard to decide where, why and what to go to college for. There are dorms to see, class sizes to consider, degree options to look at, costs of attendance, distance from home, food options, where you can go shopping, how much Call of Duty time you are going to have, and where the best long boarding hill is. Most importantly, where you will be happy, as well as successful? For me, Fort Lewis has it all.

How the Fort changed my life!

For many years, I had a question in my head that would not go away – should I return to school and commit to earning a four year degree? My late 20’s and early 30’s involved long summers working in backcountry settings followed by quiet winters, working random jobs to pass the time. I discovered Durango in 2009. At the time, I was managing a two-year project protecting sensitive high alpine environment in the San Juan Mountains.

Knowing I have found the place for me

Everyone knows that common expression that time flies, and as I begin my fourth and final year at Fort Lewis College, this saying could not be more apparent. At the expense of sounding cliché, it seems like just yesterday that I was moving into my new dorm in Animas Hall. For the first time, I was seeing how my life was about to take off. But, looking back, I did not really know how phenomenal my experiences were going to be and how Durango was going to feel like my new home.