special entry from Refuge STEP student, Ruben Davila
"I started working as a STEP Student at the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge almost by pure luck. I had been working in a restaurant when the Wildlife Refuge Manager came in one day and became a regular costumer, naturally my family got to know her. One day we were talking about getting a job with the Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) where she got her start and since the great outdoors is my passion and favorite place to be I applied for the YCC. Unfortunately I was not selected then she told me about a program called the Student Temporary Employment Program. She told me I could still be outdoors (which was great) but also since I was a natural Spanish and English speaker I could make a huge impact on our attempts at translation/interpretation and Latino community outreach. Since then I’ve been “hooked” on this job and wouldn’t trade it for the world.
I’ll never forget the time that I got to spend with our YCC Crew especially when we all got to go out on airboats and catch Canada Geese with our bare hands and then later, put information bands on their legs so scientists and state officials could tell how old they were, where they came from, etc.
Working with the Fish and Wildlife Service has taught me so many things and helped me accomplish so many of my current goals. I love the feeling of looking back on a project, paper, or assignment and think “Hey I did that” or “I helped with that”. It’s always satisfying to me when I can look back and know that I made a difference.
Next I hope to go to college at Oregon State or Utah State University and after that join either the USFWS and become a Law Enforcement Conservation Officer or become a Park Ranger with the U.S. Forest Service."
Thanks, Ruben, for all your hard work this summer and making conservation your passion, and sharing that passion with the Refuge and all our visitors and friends.