Brenda Padilla

Mammoth Cave National Park

Raised in the Central Valley of Northern California, Brenda was fortunate to explore and enjoy the different regions and cultures that surrounded her. As she grew older her interests and activities began to expand to more diverse areas. Upon graduating with a degree in Psychology, she continued working in the clinical field only to realize that her work ethic would eventually lead to burn out and that her client therapist relationships had become friendships. Therefore, after seeing how her sister joined AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) as a gap year before college, she decided to do the same and give herself a year to think of her next career path.

Brenda was accepted to be the Team Leader of Delta 3 from the Southern Region based in Vicksburg, Mississippi. Leading a team of nine, they traveled throughout the south, the east coast and Puerto Rico. Delta 3 aided in long term disaster relief from hurricanes Maria, Irma and Michael, they helped build affordable housing for low income families, as well as did some interesting environmental stewardship projects. It was her last project in Mammoth Cave National Park where they were resurfacing 16 miles of trails where Brenda was captivated by the beautiful and mysterious park.

After finishing her service year with NCCC, Brenda was invited to stay at Mammoth Cave as their Bat Monitor Intern through Student Conservation Association. Where she collected field data on the number of bat roosts that may have been affected by White Nose Syndrome. During the day she would help the parks Trails Coordinator with various volunteer groups and by night she would conduct bat counts in the woods. As an adventurous and amicable person, she found she enjoyed coordinating and teaching volunteers about the wonders of the park.

Through her interest, this is how she became Mammoth Cave National Park's Community Volunteer Ambassador. Her goals are to continue hosting and creating new events and trips at the park to draw volunteers with a sense of adventure to see what it has to offer. As well as, to teach about the delicate cave and karst system that the park lies in and how it should be properly taken care of. So then future generations can enjoy a World Heritage Site as well as an International Biosphere Reserve which currently stands as the world's longest cave system.