As part of my internship I have to present to my park staff. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous! The truth is, public speaking is one of my biggest fears. As a graduate student, I have had to do a lot of this, which has been one of the biggest challenges I have faced. However, greatness comes from times of discomfort, right? You can’t achieve success if you stay in your comfort zone and never have a chance to become comfortable with the uncomfortable. So, I often put myself into the lion’s cage, which often follows with a thought that goes kind of like this, “What did I get myself into!?” However, there are hardly ever any regrets. I not only have to do a presentation for my park next week, but I also volunteered to present at the regional office in San Francisco and present a poster at our workshops in Colorado. I hope that one day I can say, “I have done so many presentations that they no longer faze me as much.” Of course, presenting will probably always be a stressor, however we all have to learn to take that stress and peresevere through it. Like true champions!

My presentations will be about the public involvement plan that I have created for the land use effort plan that is being initiated at my park. It includes many participation objectives and mechanisms for how to increase involvement from the public. A key facet of my plan includes ways to broaden our audience and diversify!

Wish me luck, and I can’t wait to meet everyone in Colorado!

Written by Ilianna Padilla
My name is Ilianna Padilla and I am a graduate student at Cal State Long Beach studying Environmental Geography. I love all things wild, being in the outdoors, and traveling. What sparked my interest in nature was reading literature that fed my imagination with beautiful descriptions of wild landscapes that seemed so distant for someone who grew up in a densely urban environment like myself. This is why I want to continue working towards connecting people with the outdoors because I believe that it is crucial to our own well being as well as the health of the natural environment. In the future, I hope to have a career in the National Park Service or run my very own nonprofit organization. This summer I hope to gain a deeper insight on all the great things the National Park Service foes as well as take part in their mission of becoming more relevant to all communities.