Drew discovered a passion for photography and the outdoors through Parks in Focus®.
Four years later, he’s still involved.
Drew joined our Parks in Focus® program in Michigan with Big Brothers Big Sisters
(BBBS) of Newaygo County in summer 2011. He was 11 years old.
That summer, Drew discovered his love of nature while exploring Pictured Rocks National
Lakeshore and other Michigan sites for the first time with Parks in Focus®.
He also learned that he had a natural talent for photography.
One of Drew's photos of a monarch butterfly caterpillar won first place in the youth
category of Seney National Wildlife Refuge’s 2011 photo contest. After his first
summer with Parks in Focus®, Drew wanted more opportunities to pursue his new
Drew (far right) regularly attended our Michigan alumni outings, learning more about
photography and visiting other parks close to home. "Parks in Focus® has given
me fun opportunities to explore nature with other people my age who also enjoy nature,"
Drew became a leader among his peers. He was recruited to serve as a youth mentor
for our 2012 and 2013 summer programs and continues to be a role model to new Parks
in Focus® participants.
Drew’s little brother Sam joined the program in summer 2013. The two brothers attend
Parks in Focus® activities and enjoy spending time together outside. "Having
a sibling in Parks in Focus®, attending with me, has brought us closer than
we were before," said Drew.
“I have watched Drew grow and change throughout his years of experience with Parks
in Focus®. Not only have his photography skills improved, he has taken on, and
excelled with, leadership roles and has shown commitment and dedication to the program
by participating again and again on alumni outings. Drew found a passion in photography,
and Parks in Focus® played a crucial role in discovering this enthusiasm.” –
Lisa Daniell, Director of BBBS of Newaygo County
Drew continues to be active as an alum. To date, he has logged more than 500 hours
with Parks in Focus®. "I keep coming to Parks in Focus® outings because
I love taking pictures and spending time outdoors. I am also interested in having
a career in photography when I get older," said Drew.