By: Lilly Moffett
Two students give back with unique summer jobs
Instead of spending his summer days at the beach, junior Matt Kung spent his time off from school in the forests of Yellowstone National Park.
Kung worked as a youth leader for the Youth Conservation corp, a program where teens ages 15-18 help to build trails and fences and install bear boxes to help the park.
“Being able to help out a national park and know that I am making a lasting impact on a place tons of people value is pretty cool,” Kung said.
While in Wyoming, Kung spent his weekdays out on a work site, where the group camped out for the week. On weekends, he received recreation time at the dorm to explore the park and hang out with friends.
Being away from home can be difficult and Kung missed things like McDonald’s and the internet.
“It was hard being away from home at first, but to be honest, once you are out there, you do not really think about it,” Kung said.
“We had really limited contact with him while he was there, so it was a lot of fun to pick him up and hear all the stories. He can literally tell you about something he did – a work project, a hike – in any area of the park. He has always loved Yellowstone and his summer work there allowed him to give something back and learn to love it more,” said Kung’s mom, Michelle Guertin.
Unfortunately, Kung is only allowed to be a youth leader for one summer, but would go back in a heartbeat if he could do it again.