Kirby-Lynn Shedlowski

Kirby-Lynn Shedlowski

Public Affairs Officer


National Park Service–Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon National Park, AZ


If I don’t know what I am doing, then I will figure it out. I’m not going to not do something just because there is a question of, “Can I?” I can. And I will.

Milestones

Milestones

My road in life took a while to figure out.
She was born in Seoul, South Korea to an unmarried mother—this was a big taboo in Korean culture, so her mother gave her up for adoption.
Was in foster care in South Korea for a year before she was adopted by an American family—moved to Pennsylvania and grew up in the Pocono Mountains.
Started working for the National Park Service in high school as a volunteer—two years later, they hired her as part of a student employment program and she worked for them all through college.
After graduating from college, she admits she struggled with the idea of starting her career and being on her own because she didn’t really know what she wanted to do.
The National Park Service ended up offering her a full-time position in Maryland, so she accepted—she’s been working for them for the last 15 years.
She has worked in a variety of positions within the Park Service, but she really found her passion while working as a public information officer during the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
After working on the East Coast in a “cubicle farm” as a management assistant, she was ready for a change; when an opportunity to transfer to Grand Canyon National Park opened up, she grabbed it.
She now works as the public affairs officer and acts as public spokeswoman for the Grand Canyon; says, “It’s the job I never knew I always wanted.”
Keep following my journey
Education

Education

highschool
High School
undergrad
Bachelor
Political Science and Government, General
Washington College
undergrad
Bachelor
Anthropology
Washington College
Career

Career

Public Affairs Officer

I am the spokeswomen and pubic representative of the Grand Canyon National Park.

Career Roadmap

Roadmap
My work combines:
My work combines:
Environment & Nature
Environment & Nature
Non-Profit Organizations
Non-Profit Organizations
Communicating / Sharing Stories
Communicating / Sharing Stories

Day to Day

A great day is a day where I am able to deal with several high level decisions/events. Possibly a VIP visit, possibly meetings with Congressional delegation, speaking to a group of International VIPs from Foreign Governments. At the end of the day, its about having the opportunity to share with somebody else about the National Park Service or Grand Canyon.

Skills & Qualities Beyond School

Be comfortable with public speaking. Political savviness, strong writing skills, quick thinking, and the ability to make decisions efficiently are essential.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for high school students

Find your passion, what makes you tick, and then find a way to engage that passion- by way of a job, volunteer work, extra study, travel, etc. Explore that drive - don't let the narrow lanes of what seems "acceptable" prevent you from exploring further.

Hurdles

Hurdles

The Noise I Shed

From Myself:

"I can't believe they hired me. What were they thinking? "

I've always been my harshest critic, but I was raised with the belief that you can do anything and I truly believe that.

Challenges I Overcame

First-Generation Immigrant
First-Generation Immigrant

Was adopted from South Korea by a white American family. Grew up in a predominately white community, so I always stood out.

Self-Esteem Issues
Self-Esteem Issues

Being raised by a white family in a very white community, created a conflict of identity. Outwardly I look Asian, but inwardly I don't always feel that way, which causes a lot of struggles and confusion.