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February 8, 2022
By Sophia Lorusso (she/her), Junior English Major.
Pictured above: Gabriel Howe while exploring.
In 2010, the Siskiyou Mountain Club was born from sheer passion and motivation. Gabriel Howe is one of the original founders and has been the Executive Director since 2014. He always had love for the Siskiyou Mountains, which is truly reflected in the work that the nonprofit does every year.
The Siskiyou Mountain Club (SMC) operates year-round, but their most active months are March through August – aka field season. During field season, SMC sends out staff to maintain trails across remote parts of southwestern Oregon and northwestern California. While this work may be physical and tiring, it sure does pay off once overgrown trails are restored back to a usable state.
While winter months may not be as active as spring and summer, there is still an abundance of work to do, nonetheless. This winter, Gabriel is spending his time interviewing internship candidates for the upcoming field season, organizing scouting trips, and doing a lot of human resource and administrative work.
Before the SMC was officially born, Gabriel would explore the mountains alone or with friends to maintain trails and once he got good at it, he decided it was something he wanted to pursue. The nonprofit was just getting started when Gabriel was in his third year at SOU. After he graduated in 2012, he was able to commit full time and put his English major to work.
Pictured Above: Gabriel Howe paddle-boarding on a river.
Throughout his teens and twenties, Gabriel had a variety of jobs that exposed him to different management techniques and high-pressure environments. This exposure allowed him to decide how he wanted to run the SMC and has immensely helped him in his Executive Director position.
Gabriel vouches for his English degree because he uses it every single day, whether writing press releases, newsletters, editing, or even for his own personal use. Gabriel explains:
“If I have a plan in my head for something, it is easier for me to write a narrative about how I want something to go and then turn it into a schedule or bullet list rather than the other way around.”
He explains that the Siskiyou Mountain Club has their own publications, like internal newsletters, in which his English major comes in handy. Gabriel helps write and edit these, using the foundations of his degree.
“Be able to take criticism that you receive and turn it into an opportunity to improve.”
— Gabriel Howe
In addition to doing work for his nonprofit, Gabriel has also done side work throughout the years which includes writing copy for ads, crafting business memos, and professional grant-writing for other organizations. Gabriel explains how important it is to be able to write for a business: “When you combine a really cool design with really good writing, it allows people to connect, and it gives your organization a really strong voice at the end of the day.”
English majors have the ability to create bridges between two completely different worlds. The technical writing industry is a goldmine for English majors because businesses always need writers to craft advertisements, memos, and much more.
As a writer, Gabriel knows how easy it is to be hard on yourself when receiving feedback. With his nonprofit, he was advised time and time again to not pursue it because of the difficulties in which he could face. However, Gabriel was able to take all of the criticism from his writing and organization and turn it into a career.
“Be able to take criticism that you receive and turn it into an opportunity to improve. Especially when working with an editor, take their advice and work off of it as much as possible.”
If you want to get involved with nonprofit organizations and need advice about your resume or where to start, contact SOU’s Career Preparation Coordinator Max Brooks (email@example.com) for more information.
Interested in being featured on the English Program blog? Or know someone who is interested? Contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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