I Believed that I could…and I did! Proud 2022 GOAL Graduate!!

The past nine months have been so hectic and busy for me. I haven’t been writing on my blog as much as I would have liked to but hey…here I am now to update everyone :).

I was enrolled in a wonderful, yet challenging program for my professional career and here I was thinking that it was solely going to be for my professional career. This program changed my life in the best way and helped me to see the talents that I have and how to leverage them with everything that I do in this life. I met some of the most genuine, kind, and competent people that I have ever met and it was such a refreshing experience. I graduated from the program on May 12 and we completed our final presentation on May 17. I wanted to share the speech that my classmates and I came up with to summarize our experience within the GOAL program.

How did we finish the GOAL race?

A- by learning the importance of how our attitudes affect our outcomes

GOALies, you all are some of the most competent, thoughtful, and well-rounded individuals that I’ve had the privilege to interact with. The passion and gusto that each of you have for the agency and your respected positions serve as a model for a new NPS employee like me. Michael Jordan, The Greatest NBA basketball player of all time (GOAT) once said, “My attitude is that if you push me towards something that you think is a weakness, then I will turn that perceived weakness into a strength.” Each of us, in our own way, have turned so many perceived weaknesses into strengths by simply realizing our capabilities and focusing on how we can continue navigating our agency with the best attitude possible.

R- Recognizing that we cannot do everything and need help from our friends, family and colleagues

Now unlike Paul here, the rest of us learned that we cannot wear every single hat in the world. 😊 We realized how important time management, prioritization, vulnerability, and most of all effective communication and comprehension was to the completion of GOAL. There were times where I know that we have failed at balancing our regular jobs, family time, friend time, GOAL time, and most importantly, ME time. As we reflect on our graduation today, I encourage each of us to take the time to thank our people (whoever they may be) for standing by our side through the times that we were overwhelmed, stressed out, excited, and motivated to be change agents for our agency.

E-by exposing and examining our blind spots as human beings

This was a challenging one for me because when I first began GOAL, I didn’t have the highest self-confidence in myself or my abilities. Through the encouragement and belief in my strengths from my fellow GOALies, I stand before you today. As much as we all would like to think that GOAL was created to coach us within our professional lives, I think that we would stand corrected by knowing that through all of our challenges and our setbacks while enrolled in GOAL, we have become better human beings by learning more about ourselves and working to bring our authentic selves to both our personal and professional lives.

C- by renewing our commitment to being the best public servants for our agency

GOAL has opened up so many opportunities for each of us to include: meeting new people, self-development and evaluation to help us be better leaders, creating safe spaces to discuss areas of development within our agency and ourselves, and the list goes on and on. Through the countless assessments, difficult discussions, virtual residentials, and group work, we have all banded together to become a support system for each other and the next generation of NPS stewards and for that, we should be proud.

G- Having gratitude and going the extra mile in all aspects of our lives.

Let’s face it, we are some amazing human beings! We have GOALies that began new positions during our nine-month tenure, became new parents, and the list goes on and on. We enrolled, participated, and completed this program during a global pandemic. Most of us shared the fact that being virtual was a hinderance; however, we expressed gratitude to simply be a part of this program that connected us to some of the best and brightest minds within the National Park Service and for that, we express gratitude.

Remember the question that I posed at the beginning of my talk that asked, How did we finish the GOAL race? Well, even though sometimes we have been scrambled up, running on fumes, and wondering how we were going to accomplish everything, it’s important to know that the way that we finished GOAL was with kindness and GRACE.  Grace from our families, grace from our friends, grace from our coworkers and leadership, and most of all, each of us making the conscious effort to show grace to ourselves at times we knew we couldn’t get it all done. It is possible to be held accountable WHILE still providing grace because at the end of the day, we, the human resource, are the most important and we must always remember that. Thank you for allowing me to have this opportunity and I congratulate our 2022 GOALie class. I wish nothing but the best for each of you and always remember that we finished this GOAL race by showing grace to ourselves and each other. Thank you.

I leave this program with 51+ individuals that I know will have my back in not only professional arenas but personal ones as well. God blessed me to enter within this program at one of the most tough times in my life and for that, I am truly thankful! Until next time…

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