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Avremi Toron '23

Avremi Toron's journey to ESF began in a Manhattan community college library. "I approached the librarian and told her I felt trapped in the city; did she know anything about outdoorsy stuff?" he recalls. The librarian handed Toron a brochure for AmeriCorps. A month later the agency called him and asked if he'd be ready to go to Alaska the following week.

avremi toron holding a duck (soft toy not real duck)

In Alaska, and the following summer at the Gateway National Recreation Area in New York City, Toron met two ESF graduates, both of whom insisted that he apply to ESF. Says Toron, "I met two people, randomly, thousands of miles away from each other, without even trying, and both were telling me to go to ESF. The universe was definitely telling me something."

Toron's major in wildlife management emerged organically from his professors' counsel to get hands-on experience. Following their encouragement, he shadowed the head carnivore biologist at Glacier National Park, educated visitors about wildlife for the National Parks Service, and worked closely with biotechs inputting bear sightings into the ArcGIS system. He's thankful for the guidance and encouragement he found at ESF. "Whenever I ask my professors if I can pick their brains, they always say sure. They keep my fire going," says Toron.

A 31-year-old junior with an 8-year-old son, Toron is particularly grateful for receiving a scholarship. "I'd like the donors to know that this scholarship is literally keeping me in school," he says. "They're making a difference in our lives, and by investing in us, they're investing in the world's future. I hope one day I can be in their shoes and contribute to others."

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