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Leading the Way

Written by Carlos Manriquez
    Tuesday, 27 November 2018
Leading the Way

My name is Carlos Manriquez and my role at the UEC is the Menomonee Valley Visitor Services Specialist. Even though it's very rewarding to be able to work with UEC visitors, special groups, and help with events, one of my favorite parts of my job is supporting the UEC's High School Outdoor Leader program! 

The Outdoor Leader program provides young people with two years of job training and paid positions throughout the UEC, which prepares them for future employment with organizations with an environmental focus.

This year I have the pleasure of working with Luam, our Outdoor Leader at the Menomonee Valley. She is an incredibly compassionate, passionate and smart young lady. She has been with us three years and her growth as a person and as an Outdoor Leader has been quite remarkable. But who can tell you better about her experiences than Luam in her own words?


Hi! My name is Luam Rincon and this is my third year being an Outdoor Leader at the Urban Ecology Center. As a kid I used to do lots of summer camps at the UEC and so I knew a lot of people and was familiar with the Center. My mom received an email one day about the Outdoor Leader program, and since I had grown up going to the UEC and loved it, I decided to apply.

HSOL blog 2018

Fun (and learning!) at the 2017 UEC Outdoor Leaders trip to Grand Tetons National Park

This experience has been amazing! I have met so many new people and made lots of friends. The relationships I have built have even helped me in my college application process. I’ve gotten to do some pretty awesome things like our summer backpacking and camping trips. I have learned a lot and fine-tuned important life skills like public speaking, how to create a resume, and how to communicate responsibly with my supervisor and co-workers. One of my favorite things about working here is working with the kids in UEC's after-school program, the Young Scientists Club. It’s always a fun time and I learn a lot from them.

So much has happened in my years as an Outdoor Leader and they have flown by. The Outdoor Leader Program has been a major part of my high school years and has taught me important skills that prepare and set me up for success in the rest of my life! 


Know a young adult who might be interested in the UEC's Outdoor Leader program? The UEC will be hiring a new group of Outdoor Leaders in early 2019. Stay tuned!

Learn more about the UEC's High School Outdoor Leader Program!

Carlos Manriquez

Carlos Manriquez

Carlos Manriquez grew up in Leon, Guanajuato, Mexico, and at the age of 15, his family moved to the United States. He attended UW-Milwaukee, earning a degree in Social Work and Spanish. After working in the social work field for many years, he decided to follow his passion for connecting youth and community members to nature and natural spaces. Carlos was an environmental educator in UEC's Neighborhood Environmental Education Project and then became a Visitor Services Specialist at our Menomonee Valley branch. He likes to play soccer, volleyball, dance, swim and recently has been enjoying yoga.

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