DOINews: BLM Utah Honors Outstanding Youth Program Employees for 2013

Last edited 09/05/2019

Bureau of Land Management Utah State Director Juan Palma recently recognized eight employees for their outstanding work with youth in 2013. Amber Hughes, Kristina Waggoner, ReBecca Hunt-Foster, Tami Howell, Ray Kelsey, Dan Fletcher, Maria Gochi and Rebecca Oaks all received special recognition for their exceptional efforts supporting national youth initiatives and goals. The employees were nominated by their respective district management for their involvement in: employing, engaging and educating youth; building the BLM's diverse workforce; nurturing future public lands stewards; providing public service projects; sustaining partnerships; and building our nation's 21st Century Youth Conservation Corps.

Collage of BLM Utah Employees who Promoted Youth Engagement, Education and Employment in 2013

Youth Education: ReBecca Hunt-Foster, Canyon Country's District paleontologist, is an inspiring role model for youth in her community. In addition to her professional paleontological work this year, Hunt-Foster reached out to local schools and worked with teachers to develop quality youth education programs. She continues to provide exciting classroom presentations using the new Paleontology Discovery Trunk.

ReBecca Hunt-Foster

Youth Employment: Cedar City Field Office's Assistant Field Manager Dan Fletcher has mentored more than 20 interns during his 13-year tenure with the BLM. He has provided students with valuable employment opportunities and field experience. He also helped many of them find permanent jobs after their internships ended. This year, Fletcher was able to hire two more youth interns through a partnering organization.

Dan Fletcher

Youth Engagement: Tami Howell, a horse wrangler at the Salt Lake Field Office, improved the lives of young people through hands-on work with wild and domestic horses. This year, she worked with trainers and a local youth group to teach 15 local young people how to care for and gentle wild horses in preparation for adoption.

Tami Howell

21st Century Conservation Corps: Amber Hughes, a botanist at the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, has dedicated herself to the success of the Escalante River Watershed Partnership's 21st Century Conservation Corps program. The Partnership has trained and hired hundreds of young people to combat invasive Russian olive trees that have overtaken the Escalante River's stream beds. Thanks to Hughes, BLM-Utah's youth corps program is stronger than ever.

Amber Hughes

Stewardship: Kristina Waggoner was a seasonal BLM-Utah employee who now works for the Escalante River Watershed Partnership. She oversees youth corps crews that are working along the Escalante River. Waggoner provides valuable job and life skills training and teaches stewardship principles to young people from all over the nation who come to work in Utah.

Kristina Waggoner

Public Service Projects: Ray Kelsey, Salt Lake Field Office's lead outdoor recreation planner, provided service project opportunities for youth, including three Boy Scout service projects and two Eagle Scout projects. Kelsey was able to improve BLM sites and facilities with the help of 73 local Boy Scouts, troop leaders and volunteer crews. The youth had fun while learning all about Utah's great outdoors.

Ray Kelsey

Partnerships: Maria Gochis is the BLM Utah State Office's grant management officer. She is responsible for financial assistance agreements with youth organizations. This year, Gochis worked around the clock to get young people on the ground and gainfully employed. By effectively communicating with partners and agency specialists, she kept relationships and projects intact.

Maria Gochis

Building a Diverse, Future Workforce: Rebecca Oaks is the Student and Pathways Coordinator at the Utah State Office. She was instrumental in the creation and production of BLM Utah's career fair tool kits. In addition to her regular duties as a human resources specialist, Oaks helped design the booth systems and eye-catching career card "bookmarks" which have proven to be extremely useful and popular with students.

Rebecca Oaks (right) with intern

BLM-Utah looks forward to expanding partnerships with academic institutions, diverse youth groups and youth corps programs next year.

By: BLM-Utah

Nov. 25, 2013

Was this page helpful?

Please provide a comment