Honors Spotlight: Olivia Forker ’20 & Her Experience in Partners in the Parks!

Hello Honorites!

Our very own, Olivia Forker ’20, was one of three Honorites who participated in the Partners in the Park Program. Partners in the Park is an outdoor learning program coordinated through the National Collegiate Honors Council, which allows students to travel and explore national parks with other honors students from across the country. This past summer, trips included the Glacier National Park, Harper’s Ferry, and Olympic National Park!

Read below to learn about Olivia’s experience at Glacier National Park!


“My name is Olivia and I went to Glacier National Park in Montana this past August through the Partners in the Parks program. It is difficult to describe an experience that was so completely and utterly positive, but if there’s anything I can say to show my appreciation, it is that I was not home for more than an hour before I started missing it. In that hour I was able to shower and look in a mirror (something I had not done for seven days), but I missed the beauty and people that I experienced in Montana immediately.

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This trip challenged me more than I imagined it would; I was confronting things that scared me every morning, such as my hesitancy to hike 10 miles uphill, forming friendships with complete strangers, and the two black bears that came within spitting distance on our trails. I am so grateful to the IC Honors Program and Partners in the Parks that I was able to travel somewhere I would never go otherwise and meet students and professors that I ultimately considered as life-long friends. I learned about my ability to live with only the people and objects around me to depend on, I turned off my phone, I fell asleep to the sound of utter silence and the sight of a star-filled sky.

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I walked away from it with stories from the 10 people I lived and laughed with for a week. Anyone can go on a hiking trip, but we were able to learn much more because we were so immersed and actually doing research for the park. It is most definitely an experience I will never forget. Thank you!”


To find out more information about Partners in the Park — click here!