Wednesday, November 18, 2015

“It’s better late than never.”

My name is Kelechi Akabogu and I’m the lucky ProRanger student who got to spend her summer in the magnificent Yosemite National Park. I am currently a Criminal Justice senior and would likely graduate by May 2016 from Temple University.
This summer (June-August 2015) was by far the best summer I have ever had in my entire life. It was my first internship in the ProRanger program and the experience in Yosemite was the best. I got to experience a totally different part of the United States, opened my horizons and embraced different kinds of challenges. This summer was the first ever time in my entire life away from my parents and family for more than a day in an unknown land. I got to spend 10 weeks without the supervision of a strict African parent and that showed me who I am and helped me learn a lot about myself.  This summer, I was able to recognize my innate ability to easily cope with new challenges and adapt to environments new to me.
This summer I worked with almost all the divisions in Yosemite and I saw how every single person works for the advancement of the Agency regardless of their job title. My summer however highlights wilderness restoration, interpretation and law enforcement divisions.
Working with the wilderness restoration crew, I got to learn maps, compasses and GPS, about archeology and the history of where I was. I camped in Mcgurk meadow, Mono meadow and Evelyn Lake and slowly but steadily I got comfortable with sleeping in the wilderness and outdoors in general. I knew what to take and not take, and I started to welcome the quiet environment where I found myself.
With the interpretation division, I was privileged enough to shadow the famous and brilliant Shelton Johnson in his Junior Ranger programs and also in the visitor’s center. Working with him made me appreciate and relate with the environment I found myself even more. He always had a way of making people relate to the magnificent environment, Yosemite.

With the Law enforcement I shadowed skillful and proficient Law Enforcement Rangers. I went on ride alongs, shadowed investigations and interrogations, sat through court cases and did traffic, Preventive Search And Rescue (PSAR), and Search And Rescue (SAR).

Ultimately, I want to use this medium to express my appreciation to the ProRanger Program for selecting me into this program, and also thank everyone who played a role and contributed in ensuring the success of my internship. I thank you all for your time, knowledge and support (participation) this summer. It was indeed a privilege to have spent my summer in your home, thank you for welcoming me with warm open hands.

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