Hey! My name is Brady Adams. I was born in Pennsylvania and moved to the State College area when I was three years old. As a kid I was always in sports, but also equally interested in other subjects and creative outlets. Outside of my family, Michael Jordan was my role model in almost everything I did. Basketball was the guiding force in my life from the time I was born until about halfway through high school, when I stopped playing and began trying other sports and activities. I lived in both suburban and rural parts of town growing up, and I graduated from State College Area High School in 2014.
When I left high school, I was still searching for a purpose outside of basketball. My only real plan going into college was to become a businessman and make as much money as I could. In my first semester at Penn State, I started in DUS with a plan to pursue the Energy, Business, and Finance major with Smeal. My time at Penn State started with good memories, but not long after I began I lost a good friend who had just graduated from the local high school with me. That experience had a profound impact on my life, and ultimately I left Penn State to process what had happened and plan my next steps.
During this time I channeled a lot of my energy into practicing soccer, a sport I had recently fallen in love with. After hours training alone and against other talented players, I gained confidence in my ability and began to look for opportunities to play abroad. I was lucky enough to make contacts in Germany where I had an amazing opportunity to live and train with a U23 team. I was unable to finish the season due to concussions, but I learned a lot in my first time outside of the US.
When I returned to State College, many of my former classmates were already halfway through their degrees and I was still unsure about my future. I spent several months struggling with my health, and it wasn’t until I took a single class called Parks and Sustainability that I began to see a path forward. The class taught me about national parks and outdoor recreation, and I began to develop a strong appreciation for the outdoors and our natural world. Along with improving my health, I began to take more nature-related classes and spend more time outdoors. This was incredibly helpful for my health, enjoyment, and also finding purpose and a path forward in life.
After getting healthy and gaining confidence in my studies, I started to look for work related to things I’m passionate about. I applied for a 5-6 month position working with the National Park Service in Seattle, and when I got an offer I decided that the experience was something I needed. In my time with the NPS I was able to work on a number of topics I’m passionate about – ranging from social justice to habitat restoration, both in office and outdoor settings. The most impactful part of this experience by far was working with high school kids from underserved urban communities, and living in one of those urban areas myself. These were extremely valuable perspectives for me to experience after living in suburban and rural communities growing up.
I returned to State College in October 2019, and I am extremely excited to be working with the Student Farm now in 2020. It has been clear since my first interview that the people involved are caring, intelligent, and hard-working. I’ve had a great experience getting to know other student interns, staff, and members of the Student Farm Club, and I can’t wait to spend time on the farm itself. I have much to learn about farming alone, but I also hope to improve as a person and make a difference in the community around me. I hope to be able to provide healthy food for myself and others who need it in the future. I love being outdoors, I love working with the Earth, I love helping provide for those who need it, and I especially love being part of a positive, collaborative group working hard to make an impact.