Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hometown: Miami, Florida.
Program of study, relevant job experience, or relevant life experience: I have a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication, specializing in Advertising. I spent nearly 20 years as a proofreader for the State Attorney’s Office and two major newspapers in South Florida. I freelanced as a writer/photographer. I then spent three years at a science museum before finally becoming a park ranger, the job that I was destined for.
Position in our Outer Banks national parks: Seasonal Interpretive Park Ranger.
Where you can be found: Wright Brothers National Memorial.
Other national parks you have worked at: I’ve never worked at any other national park. The parks of the Outer Banks are my first! In 2019, I started with Cape Hatteras National Seashore selling climbing tickets at Bodie Island Lighthouse and ORV (Off Road Vehicle) permits. I also worked at the Oregon Inlet campground and the entrance station at Wright Brothers. In 2022, I became an Interpretive Ranger at Wright Brothers. In the offseason, I’ve volunteered as receptionist at headquarters, for housing maintenance, and as an Interpretive Ranger at Fort Raleigh. I like to experience a little bit of what each department has to offer and gain new skills.
Currently listening to: Beach House, Lana Del Rey, War on Drugs, Patsy Cline, Phoebe Bridgers, The National, music from the 1930s and 1940s, too many to mention! Music is my love!
What do you like to do in your free time? I enjoy photography, hiking, camping, having a good drink at our local breweries, and listening to great music as I relax on the beach. Also, I love taking sunset drives with the perfect playlist to match the mood.
What do you like most about the Outer Banks? What I really love about the Outer Banks is how desolate you can feel even when there are plenty of people around. I’ve found my special spots around town where I can retreat to reenergize myself.
How did you end up in your current position with the National Park Service?
I had traveled to many national park sites as a visitor and was always eager to talk to the rangers. I felt like they had the best job ever! From then on, I knew I wanted to be a ranger! One day I saw a job posting to work with the National Park Service and applied. Somehow, I got lucky and was hired in the fees department at Cape Hatteras and Wright Brothers. I loved talking to people about the parks, but in the fees department you don’t get to spend a lot of time with visitors. A fellow Interpretive Ranger saw my potential and encouraged me to apply for Interpretation. I did and I love it!
What does a typical workday or work week look like for you?
A typical workday involves me giving programs about the Wright brothers, working on social media content, talking to visitors in the visitor center, and swearing in Junior Rangers or B.A.R.K. Rangers.
What do you enjoy most about working at Wright Brothers National Memorial?
I love telling visitors the incredible story of the brothers’ inspirations, struggles, and challenging work at achieving the first flights here. Imagine a world without planes! You can’t, and it’s all because of Wilbur and Orville. Their achievements eventually led us to the first human to set foot on the moon and to explore other planets, like Mars, where a piece of the Wright Flyer is currently attached to on the Mars Ingenuity Helicopter, which made the first flight on another planet! I’m a huge space geek!
I also love how people are moved by their story. In my storytelling, I hope that I’m inspiring others to achieve their own personal dreams. I’ve had several visitors get emotional during my programs, and it’s an incredible feeling to know that your storytelling has affected them to realize the significance of our park.
What is a favorite memory you have from your time working in the Outer Banks?
One of my favorite memories from working in the Outer Banks is when a visitor came up to me after giving my program on the Wright brothers. She told me that I inspired her to open her dream business. I couldn’t believe that I could have that kind of impact on someone else’s life! Amazing!
Why are our Outer Banks national parks important?
Our Outer Banks national parks are so important because they tell and preserve the incredible, diverse history that has played out on our barrier islands but have had consequential events throughout the U.S. From the first attempts of an English colony to the Civil War, the Freedmen’s Colony, the first flights by the Wright brothers, the tallest lighthouse in the U.S., to a telegram received at the Hatteras Weather Bureau Station from the Titanic after hitting an iceberg and sending the distress signal. Our parks are rich in history, and we need to tell those stories.
Is there anything else you would like people to know about you or about our Outer Banks national parks?
When I started working as an Interpreter, I had a huge fear of public speaking. I didn’t think I would survive talking in front of the huge crowds we get at Wright Brothers. But my supervisor encouraged me, and I tried it. I’m happy to say that the fear is now gone, and I get to do something I love every day. So, I encourage you to challenge yourself and always pursue your dreams. You just might find what you were always meant to be doing.