Monday, August 22, 2016

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Life Is What You Make It


Members of our team at Penn State meeting in March 2013

8/22/2016 (Mr. Foot) For the first few years of life, my younger brother and I were fortunate to have my grandparents living right next door. This was in the mid 1970s, in an era before internet memes or buying a poster with an inspirational quote. If you wanted a saying or life message, you had to draw it, carve it, do paint by number or knit it with yarn. 

From as soon as we could read, one of the first decorations in my grandparent's house we saw and learned was a little hand-knit sign in the sitting area. It was the knitted image of a sailing ship, ringed on the border by the Alphabet and the numbers 1-10. 

Under the ship was a simple message: "Don't wait for your ship to come in, swim out after it."

In the 12 years of the Foot's Forecast story, you could say that became our unofficial tagline. Dozens and dozens of talented people whom joined our team over the years became the type of go-getter employers and colleges are clamoring to recruit. These students didn't wait for opportunities to come, they went after the future they wanted. 

Below is a sampling of their true life stories. 

He built an online reputation & landed a paid internship and got a job offer before graduating college.

Greg Jackson was a junior at North Carroll High School in Carroll County, MD and wasn't sure how to kick start his life. He played tennis, ran track but was otherwise an unremarkable student. But he had a passion for weather and communicated with the Foot's Forecast team for several years in our website's comments section. 

In December 2009 we reached out to him with an offer to join the team, unsure if he was a student or not. His story since then is one many incredible examples of how students turned an niche opportunity into a life-changing string of successes.

  • In Spring of his high school junior year, Greg (above, left) was offered a paid summer internship at UMBC, working alongside another one of our forecasters, Dakota Smith (above, right) who went on to graduate from Penn State in meteorology.
  • Had a PhD-reviewed research paper ready for college applications BEFORE his senior year;
  • The college recruiter at California Univ of Pennsylvania said in the interview, "I am well aware of your accomplishments online, we have all been following you for over a year in Facebook."
  • Greg was granted a scholarship to Cal U of PA, gained internships at an Environmental firm while at school, and was offered a full time job with the firm upon graduating. 
  • He finsihed with a double major in Environmental Science & Geography and is now employed full-time as an Environmental Scientist at the Potomac-Hudson Engineering Firm in Pittsburgh.
She turned passion into profit to build funds for college, and has already presented at national conferences. 

Amber's story is, just like her company name, truly amazing. Our team first met her in the summer of 2011 while Amber was attending the NOAA-funded Weather Camp program at Howard University. She had just finished her sophomore year in high school near Pittsburgh. Amber joined the team, and got linked up with Greg Jackson once he began attending classes at Cal U. of PA in the same area. 

Amber's Amazing Balloons, the company she started before high school 

Amber presenting at a conference in New Orleans, January 2016

  • As a dedicated member of our Pennsylvania team, Amber took full advantage of opportunities to collaborate with other team members around the state, building contacts at multiple universities. 
  • While operating the Three Rivers forecast page in Facebook and taking classes full time, Amber was also operating her own profit-making venture providing exciting balloon art experiences to children, at birthday parties, public events and more. 
  • In between all this, Amber remained an active forecaster for several years, representing our team at public events and numerous conferences.
In 2013, Amber was accepted to Millersville University, and is now a junior. She has already presented a a Meteorology conference in New Orleans, and is treasurer of her college chapter of the American Meteorological Society (AMS). We are excited to see the next chapter in her amazing story and hope it is an inspiration to others with passion.

To learn more about how you can build internship opportunities like these, visit our "Offers" or "Join Us" tabs above for more information

or contact our Executive Director, Keith Krichinsky for questions: