As a child, Tyler Pastorok ’19 discovered a passion for outdoor recreation with his dad but did not, at the time, envision it would lead to a rewarding career.
He transferred to Green Mountain College for Adventure Education after one year at the University of Pittsburgh studying Mechanical Engineering for one semester, and film for the other. He naturally excelled at math and science in high school, and felt that careers in engineering paid well so it seemed like a good field to go into. The rigorous nature of the program pushed him to question why he was doing it in the first place. After a bit of soul searching, he began to think about career paths that would align more with what he enjoyed doing. After searching a bit for college outdoor education programs, GMC’s Adventure Ed block was by far the most attractive on the east coast.
All students enrolled in the Adventure Ed program are required to complete an internship, so Tyler chose to work with GreenMAP this past summer for his internship. ” I chose this path because I felt like I could make the greatest impact with a program that I already knew very well,” noted Tyler. He dove into the experience with a clear list of goals–most of which he was able to achieve. Working with the staff of GreenMAP, Tyler helped to run a day camp for local kids and planned the Wilderness Orientation for incoming students, restructuring the program itself, and re-envisioning its mission. “It has been nice to continue working with GreenMAP throughout this semester as a trip leader, and see how projects I completed worked well or didn’t,” said Tyler.
Ethics and morals play a huge role in how I perceive myself and the world, and so sustainability is something I think about constantly. I think to many people, practicing sustainability seems like a self sacrifice. However, I think many who try it will agree that it ends up being regenerative. When you practice sustainability you end up restructuring your life in a way that is healthier for your mind, body, and relationships. It’s not about being perfect, it’s about acknowledging the facts and doing your best to act on them most of the time. If you can be honest with yourself and acknowledge when you make an unethical choice instead of trying to justify it, that is a huge step towards making better choices in the future.”
Tyler is co-director of the Student Campus Greening Fund, which is advised by Director of Sustainability Ryan Ihrke. This committee manages a student fund that exists for students to use to increase the social and environmental sustainability on campus. Some past projects the group has funded include permaculture gardens, additions to GMC’s bike share, social sustainability art shows, and much more.
In addition to his work with the Greening Fund, Tyler serves as GreenMAP Trip Leader, GMC Bike and Ski Co-Op President, Adventure Recreation Floor President, and Green Mountain College Outdoor Recreation Association committee member.
When asked what makes GMC the #1 Sierra Magazine Cool, Tyler shared, “Many of the administrators value active, engaged community members, so GMC is full of opportunities. If you have an idea for how to make improvements physically or socially, there is usually a way you can make it happen. The students play a big role in what goes on on the ground.”