Leah Duran, Interpretation Administrative Assistant, San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park
SCA Alumni Council Member, 2011-2014
SCA 2010: Habitat Restoration Intern, Grand Canyon National Park
SCA 2009-2010: AmeriCorps Member, SCA Massachusetts Corps
SCA 2009: Interpretation Intern, Montezuma Castle & Tuzigoot National Monuments
Last month, after three years of working for the National Park Service, I earned my career tenure with the federal government. This accomplishment would not have been possible without my SCA service, which gave me the “golden ticket” of non-competitive hiring status. With this status, I landed my ﬁrst permanent position at Lassen Volcanic National Park. More than jumpstarting my career, my SCA service taught me the meaning of community, and that I can do anything (including chainsaw a tree to create stairs) with a commitment to ﬂexibility, perseverance, and teamwork.
My fond memories of SCA are too numerous to count! I’ll never forget my hitch at Quabbin Reservoir in Massachusetts. We returned to our campsite from a hard day’s work building retaining walls to ﬁnd our equipment – clothes, sleeping bags, etc. – stolen. We drove to Target to buy essentials (read: underwear) and returned to work in the morning. The next evening, our tents were gone, too! Our site found us a place to stay inside, and we kept working until we ﬁnished the job, remaining resilient and in good spirits despite our misfortunes.
I feel incredibly fortunate to have served on SCA’s Alumni Council for three years. We meet annually for a weekend, and I am never so refreshed and motivated as after those meetings. My favorite part is working with such a diverse, talented group of people who bring innovative ideas and actions to help SCA connect with its 75,000 alumni. We’re also pretty good at singing karaoke! Two other council members and I, along with SCA’s Oakland oﬃce, spearheaded the Bay Area BBQ for Boots fundraiser, held in my backyard last fall. Dale Penny, SCA’s President, spoke at the event, which raised more than $1,000 for local community crews.