Before coming to Dayton, I didn't know anything about the city or what it had to offer. I spent most of my time on campus last year because I didn't know what there was outside of the "Dayton bubble." After joining the River Stewards program, the bubble popped and my eyes were opened to what an awesome city Dayton is and how much there is to do. When I look back on this semester, some of my favorite memories are all thanks to the River Stewards program. I have learned and experienced more than I ever thought I would through a co-curricular, and formed friendships with people I most likely would not have met.
The first day of orientation, I was pretty nervous. I did not know anyone, but within 5 minutes my nerves had subsided and I already felt part of the group. By the end of the day, we were already making plans to hang out later that evening, and meet up the next day to walk as a group to Zehler Hall. It isn’t just the 2014 cohort that has this welcoming attitude, but also the older stewards, the community partners, and the graduate students. I have felt at home this semester thanks to all of the incredible people who are part of this program.
There are countless great memories from this semester. From the orientation kayak trip down the Great Miami River and the time we spent in downtown Dayton learning about the history of the Miami Conservancy District and fish shocking to the cold night crammed in a tent with 15 other people at Gear Fest, and all of our mini-courses in between, I can say without a doubt that this semester has been one of the most fulfilling because of the experiences I have had as a River Steward. I am looking forward to next semester and the rest of my time as a Stew and can’t wait to see everyone again in the new year!