by Larissa Siirila; Crew Leader 2017
My name is Larissa Siirila and this year is my first time working for an Americorps organization. I was drawn to the Wyoming Conservation Corps in part because of its mission to aid in conservation efforts throughout the state, but mostly because the WCC provided the opportunity to work my dream job: hard work outdoors, all day, every day. I wasn’t expecting that as an Americorps and WCC member I’d get so much more.
The greatest, and most unexpected, aspect of my work with the WCC has been the people I get to work with. I have never had a job where my co-workers feel so much like my family. We all know each other and support each other in our life endeavors. We talk about our lives and care about the answers. And, we’re simply nicer to each other than the coworkers have been in any other job I’ve had. Working with the staff at the WCC has also been an incredible joy. In a normal job bosses tell you what to do and you either follow their instructions or get fired. In a normal job you are always slightly afraid of the “Big Boss.” Working for the WCC is nothing like this. The staff of the WCC are open, supportive and collaborative. They listen to what we say and take feedback, they encourage us to actively participate in our work and never make us feel as if we are anything less than whole, unique people.
The education I have gotten working with the WCC has also been outstanding. You wouldn’t think that a job that on first description is mostly about operating a chainsaw would be so mind opening, but it is. Working with the WCC I have not only learned how to be successful in wilderness medicine and in driving a trailer, I’ve also learned how to be a good leader, a good compromiser, and an active and engaged citizen in the world. I have had to open my horizons and learn from new perspectives, and that’s been in just the first couple months of working here.
So far the WCC has been by far my favorite job I’ve ever held. From great people, to learning new things, to exciting opportunities for action it has already provided me so much.