August 12th is International Day of Youth and to celebrate the National Parks of Boston is celebrating the stories of our youth employees and volunteers! The following stories are from members of the 2021 Historias de Boston program and from a youth volunteer:
Yorlenis De Jesus Olivero
My experience in this program is very raw and different from any other internship/youth job I have had. To think this was the last Youth Job I would get due to me finally graduating and turning 18, leaves me in aw. I am glad that this was my last youth employment that has helped me build various skills for my future self. I was able to develop team partnership skills. Many times even in school I would rather work alone, but this team helped me build projects and incorporate everyone’s ideas within my work. I learned a multitude of skills such as editing, film making, photo taking and voice recording. At times it was difficult, but never for too long with help from Ramon and Xochi. They helped me gain skills I would’ve never imagined having. I walked in day by day learning a new skill.
When applying to Historias de Boston, I was mainly focused on gaining experience with photography by photographing various Boston National Parks. But looking back on my time spent in the program, I find that the most valuable experiences are very different from what I had expected them to be. Some of my fondest memories are of the boat trips to and from the Boston Harbor Islands, having conversations and practicing improv with my coworkers and supervisors. These were people I could talk to about whatever, bounce ideas off of, and accomplish my best work with. I’m grateful for the photography experience, but also the people that the program connected me with.
In the period of time that I have been working for HDB (Historias de Boston) I have learned a lot. I am walking out of this program with valuable lessons and skills that I did not have before. Teamwork was a big part of this program, I got to work with my team on group projects and switch roles as director, camera, sound operator and producer which taught us all how to do different jobs at one time. In this time I have learned about photography/ videography and how to get great shots, how to angle it, how to edit the photos and make it look like anything we’d like by adjusting things like the exposure, temperature, contrast and a lot more. We recently got into using Adobe Premiere to edit videos. Although at times it could be frustrating, with the help of my team it was a lot easier. I am grateful that I got to work with such amazing people and a great team, everyone was a big help. I hope to take these skills that I have developed and make another career out of what I have learned.
My name is Danny, I work for Historias De Boston, we do both photography and make short films for the National Park Services. This summer I worked on many projects both personal and professional, changing the ways the National Parks viewed its parks and employees. Our vision was not striving for perfection but to tell the stories of unrepresented people. We were determined to tell the world through our perspective. In a way, something I learned this summer is that everyone has a story, everyone has potholes in their lives, everyone has accomplishments and everyone has flashes of happiness. These moments are displayed within photos and videos we have on our phones. The beauty of working for this program is accepting imperfection and realizing there are gonna be a lot of bad moments we can’t control. But we choose the pictures we keep, we choose the pictures we edit, we choose what moments define us and we choose the story we want to tell. And most of all if you’re not ready to share your story, accept your mistakes and be proud of your accomplishments, what are you waiting for?
Hi, my name is Maceo Susi, and over the past couple of years, I have been doing all sorts of field work for the National Park Service (NPS), from tick studies, where ticks were collected around the Boston Harbor Islands, and checked for diseases, to invasive removals, where invasive plant species would be removed from native environments, to MIMIC (Marine Invasive Monitoring and Information Collaborative), which is responsible for monitoring marine invasive species. Doing fieldwork with the Parks was amazing. To put it simply, it entirely changed me. Before doing field work with the NPS, I was incredibly shy, but afterwards I met so many supportive people that boosted my confidence a lot. The work in itself is incredibly enjoyable and productive, and I’ve always felt like I was a part of something great! As youth, we are often underestimated, but I had never felt underestimated or under valued when working with park rangers and volunteers. I have always felt included and appreciated for my ideas regardless of age, and that’s truly been a gift to me. The National Park Service has opened up my life to future opportunities and experience, and I am so grateful for my past and future work with them.