New State | New Chapter

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My passion and drive are two things that never diminish.

2016 has been quite the roller coaster to say the least, but I finally feel like it’s turning around for the better. Let’s rewind a year (aka 2015). I originally moved back to California from Puerto Rico to attend CSULA for my teaching credential in science. I completed one semester, and realized that it was not the correct pathway for me. My mom and grandma told me from the beginning that I couldn’t be contained in a 4-walled classroom for very long and be happy… turns out they were right.

I have family in Portland, Oregon, so I began to look into some graduate programs up there for a change of scenery, and also to be closer to them. Portland(ia) is very green & eco-conscious, so I knew it would be a good place to look for environmental education opportunities. It didn’t take very long until I found a program that was PHENOMENAL.

At Portland State University, they offer a Master of Science specializing on Leadership for Sustainability Education (LSE). When you say it out loud it’s a mouthful, but it still doesn’t beat my previous degree: Bachelors of Science in Environmental Science Technology and Policy focusing on Marine and Coastal Ecology. Say that five times fast! 

I digress… continuing on with the story… I researched the graduate program more in-depth and ended up attending an LSE Open House last October at the university. My cousin Tiffany and I arrived couple minutes late to the Open House unfortunately, but we still ended up conversing with one of the professors of the program and a previous LSE graduate. They were both very welcoming and helpful, and I left feeling overcome with a mixture joy and relief that this program was truly meant for me. Ultimately, I want to be a Director of Education for an aquarium or non-profit, and/or eventually create my own environmental school focusing in marine conservation. A master of science degree would help me achieve that goal!

Once I had finished my meeting with the professor, Tiffany insisted on taking a photo of me against this wall at the LSE Department (since it WAS going to be my new school eventually). While we were in the middle of taking the photo (seen above), a gentleman walked up who had guided us earlier when we first walked into the offices. He was just checking in on us to make sure we were successful in locating a professor to speak with. Low and behold, he was the Admissions and Student Support Specialist for the LSE Program! I immediately felt like a complete idiot for taking this silly picture while he was trying to check in on us, but he was a good sport about it all 😛

Long story short – I applied – and got accepted earlier this month! I’m not going to lie, I went back and forth with my final decision. Paying out of state tuition is A LOT of money, but my close friend/mentor said don’t let money be the deciding factor if that’s the only thing holding you back. He is right. I’m 28, single, no kids, and I don’t have any other seemingly huge excuse to keep me from making this next life move. It’s time for a new state – new friends – new adventures – and new memories for (at least) the next 2 years!

Thank you to everyone who has helped me in this process – I have leaned upon many of you in this final decision. I appreciate your support whole heartedly – and I can’t wait to have you all visit me! There will be many Pacific Northwest adventures to come, I am sure of it. Time to bust out my flannels and rain boots…

See you in July, Portland!

 

PS – If you know of any potential job opportunities or housing (preferably furnished) in Portland –> PLEASE COMMENT BELOW ❤ ! 

 

 

Portlandia! (Photos + Video)

As I mentioned previously- I spent my American Independence Day- the 4th of July- in Portland Oregon visiting family I haven’t seen in 7 years. I made an effort to take lots of videos and photos to compile the Youtube video as seen above. I really enjoy making this little vacation summary videos- Hope you like it!

It was by far the best 4th of July I can remember. Let me give you sort of the run down of the (busy) 4 days my mom and I were there:

– On the morning of the 4th, we jumped on a little jet plane

-Immediately we drove to Washington to buy illegal fireworks galore- literally the most intense, packed, insane fireworks store(s) I’ve ever WITNESSED!

-Met up with the rest of the family for a traditional BBQ (yummy!) 

Family BBQ (photo by: Chanel Hason)

– Then when the skies turned dark- we set off all the fireworks we bought and sparklers in the middle of the street (along with the rest of the entire block 🙂 ) -SO WORTH IT!

– Hiked Multnomah Falls -one of the most gorgeous waterfalls I’ve ever seen- it also has been featured in a multitude of movies (i.e. Twilight)

Multnomah Falls (photo by: Chanel Hason)

– Checked out the Bonneville rainbow trout and white sturgeon fish hatchery  – saw the biggest sturgeons of my ENTIRE LIFE there! They raise this fish for release back into the wild, not for consumption (wahoo!)

Rainbow Trout (photo by: Chanel Hason)

– We stopped at Vista House at Crown Point to check out the unobstructed view of the Columbia River Gorge

– Drove to the coast – ended up at Pacific Beach where you can drive your car ON THE BEACH and park and enjoy the scenery. I got to do some tide-pooling- one of my favorite things 🙂

Pacific Beach (photo by: Chanel Hason)

– Visited the Tillamook Cheese Factory – had some awesome cheese samples (sharp cheddar is the BEST), and some delicious ice cream

– Went wine tasting a couple local Oregon wineries (I prefer California wines for sure 😉 ) – although frolicking through the vineyards was quite fun !

Oregon Wine Tasting

– Made a stop at the Nike Headquarters – where my cousin has been working for over 25 years. It really is the size of a small town! It’s beautiful, has lots of sports fields/facilities, a lake, 2 running tracks… purely amazing! The ESPN High School 7ON event was occurring that day which meant 14 NFL players were roaming around. Being from Dallas, I’m a huge Cowboys Football fan- and luckily we got to chat with Felix Jones of the Cowboys! What a nice guy..

Felix Jones of the Dallas Cowboys

-Went shopping at the Nike Employee Store (hello 50% of all merchandise and a new pair of awesome running shoes 😀 )

– Partied in Downtown Portland with my cousin and his girlfriend and his best friend. Had a TON of fun dancing the night away! Then of course we hit up the famous VooDoo Doughnuts at 3am for some tasty treats. I got the Arnold Palmer donut- yummm!

Mmm VooDoo Doughnuts!

– We spent some more quality family time together… it was so nice meeting my new little cousins I can’t even put it into words- they are going to be little beach blonde heartbreakers.

Before we left for the airport, I drew them some fun chalk ocean animals on their driveway. 

Cousin Love!

I really had a great time in Oregon- we are going to try and make it a tradition to go up there every year for the 4th of July. The weather was perfect, the people were so nice, and being surrounded by family was just the best feeling in the world. Thanks for a great time Dina, Bill, Alex, Tiffany, Zach, Archie, Nolan, and Sawyer!