In the email, the MANO Project was recruiting for their U.S. Forest Service Resource Assistance fellowship program. This paid six-month fellowship seemed like the perfect opportunity to dive into the environmental world for Alexa.
“As of that moment, I had only really had service industry jobs and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to dive into a field I am passionate about and be able to apply the skills I learned from my Communication’s degree.”
A firm believer of when something is ready, it will show up, she felt an instant determination to land an internship in Durango, Colorado. She immediately told her mother she would be moving to Colorado that summer.
However, a small detour occurred. Alexa applied and did not get an initial interview for the position. Yet, the MANO Project team helped her continue looking for other fellowships in Washington, D.C. with other federal land agencies. While waiting to hear back from an internship in D.C., the Durango office decided that they did want to interview her.
She decided to interview and immediately received an offer letter from the San Juan National Forest. Determined to make her dreams a reality, she accepted and moved to Durango. This was her first-time in Colorado and first-ever fellowship with a federal land management agency.
Through this fellowship, she was able to not only work in volunteer coordination at the forest, but also help with research projects, hike all day to conduct field work, and look into the different roles everyone had at the forest.
“This fellowship opened my eyes to the diverse workforce opportunities that the federal government could provide. The moment that I cherish the most was when I was able to go electroshock fishing with scientists from the forest. With this technique, we tested the water to see if it was hospitable for the brook trout. Of course due to mineral runoff, it was showing up in their systems.”
Four years later, Alexa Martin del Campo now works as an Operations Manager for Amazon in Olympia, Washington. She oversees over 150 employees alongside four other managers to help with the importation of products for the company. She credits the MANO Project for not giving up on her and helping her discover the educational opportunities available to her to then pave the way to her dream career.
“The MANO Project expanded my viewpoint of what a career could look like as a first-generation college student. In just six months, I learned more than I ever did in my college courses or past jobs.”
To learn more about the MANO Project and to see what positions are currently available, visit https://manoproject.org/.