Natasha: Making a Path

Natasha Shangold is serving with the Anne Arundel County Forestry Board’s Anne Arundel Weed Resistance by recruiting volunteers to help combat invasive plant species.

What are some things that are good to know about you?  What are you proud of?  What are some good tidbits to know about you?

Ever since I was a little girl, I have always loved nature and I believe in being a good “doer”. My proudest achievement is earning the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest award in Girl Scouts. I planned an Earth Day Celebration at the Menare Foundation Button Farm Living History Center. I learned how much hard work goes into managing an event and the importance of incorporating nature and history together. Recently, I became a Maryland Master Naturalist, a volunteer naturalist program. So, not only did I gain great environmental skills, I also learned to appreciate volunteers, since I am one. I graduated from Salisbury University in Environmental Studies and minors in Biology and Religious Studies. I value the interconnecting relationship with nature and cultures. I enjoy walks with my dog, Grizz, cooking, and traveling with my husband. At the end of the day, I also believe that everyone needs nature therapy. 

Why are you doing a term of service with Volunteer Maryland and AmeriCorps?  What motivated you to apply and accept this challenge?

Over the past five years, I realized that while having seasonal jobs are great, they are not sustainable for my career goals. I did not want to have another year of this cycle, so I applied to the Anne Arundel County Forestry Board AmeriCorps Volunteer Coordinator position and met my Site Supervisor, Bud, before interviewing with AmeriCorps. He spoke so highly of the program and allowed me to feel like “I want to do that”. I quickly got all my paperwork completed in a timely manner. I intend to learn new skills and be a good “doer” at the same time.

What are you hoping to gain from doing this?  What skills are you looking to gain?  How does this fit into your long-term goals?

Since graduating Salisbury University in 2014, I have had many wonderful seasonal jobs, but nothing permanent. Both AmeriCorps and the UMUC Environmental Management Masters’ program will not only help me gain better leadership skills and environmental knowledge, but hopefully make me more desirable for a permanent career position in the environmental field.

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