January 7, 2020

Shawn Mitchell

I plan to go to Frostburg State University to get a degree in Wildlife and Fisheries. I am interested in pursuing this degree because I have always wanted a job that allows me to be outside and not stuck in an office all day. I am also considering a minor in Parks and Recreation or criminal justice. I chose Frostburg because their campus is surrounded by woods. streams and hiking trails. They have many opportunities for me to learn in the field and the small class size is an added benefit.

With this degree, I plan on becoming a Park Ranger or Game Warden. I am choosing this career because as a kid, I have always enjoyed being outdoors and working with animals. I was raised on a farm and have shown sheep for 10 years. I have won two National 4-H trips because of my leadership and citizenship activities. I have had the opportunity in 4-H to work at weekend camps teaching about nature, animal habitats and conservation. My club has also been involved in Coastal Cleanup and Adopt a Highway programs. Nature is so beautiful and I want to protect this wonderful world so that future generations can enjoy the greatness of the outdoors and all of the beautiful things it has to offer.

This summer, I plan to again work at 4-H summer camps and am looking at working part time or as a volunteer at one of our state parks to better understand the career I think I want to pursue. Through 4-H, I will be hosting an exchange 4-Her from Montana for a week this summer and will able to visit Montana next summer to learn about their state. I think all of my experiences in 4-H will make it easier for me to make friends at a college where I will not know anyone and will give me the confidence to succeed and the ability to ask for help if I need it.

My parents have always encouraged me and given me the support necessary to reach my dreams. My dad always dreamed of becoming a park ranger when he was growing up. His father did not believe that college was necessary and convinced my dad to keep working on the family farm after high school. My father still talks about the regret he has for not following his heart and trying to become a park ranger. I do not want to look back 30 years from now and feel that I abandoned my dreams because it might be difficult or expensive. I do not want anyone or anything to stop me from following my dreams.

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