A GPS for Success

Trail Steward and FRC Grad Kyla Pascucci

News Center – February 2020


Most people transfer from a community college to a four-year, but FRC alumna Kyla Pascucci is like a salmon. She swam upstream, left university for Feather River College — and found her calling without emptying her college fund.

“The program at FRC was so much more welcoming,” she says about the Outdoor Recreation Leadership program. “It just felt really good.”

Along with basic compass and mapping skills, Pascucci found a direction in the ORL program. “To be in my second semester and sitting on a raft on the Rogue River, it felt really empowering,” she says. By the time she went on a class backpacking trip and did a solo night in the wilderness, Pascucci felt like a superhero.

“As a woman growing up in Reno, that’s just not something that you do,” says Pascucci, who was exhilarated to step outside her comfort zone. “It felt really confidence-boosting.”

Another eye-opener was the winter camping trip when the class skied into Lassen National Park and built a shelter out of snow. “Having that experience, it just opens your mind to opportunities,” she shares. “I never would have thought that I could be warm in the middle of the night in a snow cave. But I was.”

Pascucci transferred to Warner College of Natural Resources for her bachelor’s. Funnily enough, she realized many of her FRC professors had preceded her there, when she recognized their names in class slideshows. And when her husband’s job took the family back to Quincy, she reached out to her those former teachers for job leads.

The professors connected her with not one, but three opportunities, and she chose the perfect position with Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship. For the past four years, she’s been the executive administrator, managing everything from the bike shop to trail crews and events. According to her, “I make sure everything falls into place.”

For Pascucci, preserving the great outdoors is a calling. “Finding a career and an organization where I could truly get behind their mission, that’s been really important to me,” she shares.

Beyond her passion for stewardship, a love that sprouted at FRC, she also puts her ORL skills to work in her current job.

“Learning the leadership side of the program was what helped me the most,” says Pascucci, who continually uses the group management and interpersonal skills she learned at FRC. “I had to learn that you’re never going to make a decision that satisfies an entire group.”

Currently a leader in her organization, Pascucci no longer agonizes about making decisions because now, her confidence is rock-solid, thanks to the ORL program. And she’s found that those bedrock skills are something she can continually rely on.

“Group management and those leadership skills have been huge assets for me in this field,” says Pascucci.