At 5’1”, Misha Rosado is a tiny, 16-year-old powerhouse whose least favorite thing is to sit around with nothing to do. So, in addition to school and a part-time job, she donates 60-80 hours each year as an Earth Team Volunteer for USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).
You may wonder how this bright and very funny teen—whose interests include gymnastics and playing the flute—got involved in the agency. To her, the NRCS staff in Connecticut are like family. They practically are, seeing as how her dad has worked there for 32 years.
Civil Engineering Technician Michael Rosado (the person Misha doesn’t hesitate to name when asked who has been the most influential in her life) began teaching his daughter the ins and outs of his profession when she was very young. She also learned about NRCS by participating in Take our Daughters/Sons to Work Day each year. By the time she was 14, Misha was a full-fledged Earth Teamer. Her superior skills in math, knowledge of surveying with the use of a transit and laser level, and her preference for working with adults has made her the quintessential engineering assistant.
Misha thinks the work NRCS does is both important and fun—especially in the field. She says she loves being outside, as well as meeting landowners on the properties she’s visited.
When asked about a project that she feels was especially satisfying, she takes a minute to flip through the list she keeps in her head—recalling each one by landowner name and town. Her finger points straight up when she’s got the answer. It’s a property she and her dad had been to several times. During the waterway design survey, she and her transit stood ankle deep in muck that was a result of poor drainage in the field. On the final site visit, she got to see that same field looking pristine as a result of the grass-lined waterways that were installed to address excess water. Misha says there is a lot of satisfaction in being able to be a part of an undertaking like that.
It’s something she wishes she could share more of with her peers. She thinks young adults like her would love working with NRCS if they would just give it a try.
But Misha isn’t like every other teenager. She’s light years ahead, with her eye on the future. She dreams of being a criminal lawyer, helping innocent people in need. Until then, she tries not to sweat the small stuff in her life; she’d rather take the bumps and turn them into positive energy toward her volunteer work, and her paid job as an assistant coach at a gymnastics school.
Asked about her philosophy on life, Misha quotes Dr. Seuss:
Be who you are, and say what you feel,
Because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.
They say you never get a second chance to make a first impression. When you’re Misha Rosado, you don’t have to worry. One chance is all you need. She’s a confident, caring young woman who loves to help people, and right now she’s doing just that—helping people help the land.