Silas Jensen

by Vicki Heisser  |   

Silas Jensen is exactly where he wants to be, doing what he has dreamed about for several years. Jensen is currently enrolled in Prince William Sound College’s (PWSC) outdoor leadership program, and he could not be happier. As Jensen explains, “My father instilled a love of nature and the outdoors in me at an early age.” While Jensen seems to have found his path, pursuing a career in outdoor leadership, it took him a while to find his direction.

Jensen grew up in Indiana and Wyoming. After high school, he attended Ball State University in Indiana. “I basically went there to get away from home and have some independence. I really did not know what I wanted to study; I just knew that I was supposed to go to college, but I did not do very well because I did not make the right decisions.” Since Ball State did not seem to be the right place for him, Jensen decided to go back home to West Lafayette, Indiana, and about a year later he attended community college in the area. “I still had this feeling of apathy, no motivation for anything. It was then that I looked into going into the military, but that ended up not working out.”

Jensen then thought he would go back to Wyoming. But his search for opportunities there ended up leading him to PWSC and Valdez, Alaska. “I started looking at schools in Wyoming so I could get back to where I was from, but it was going to be expensive. All the schools out west that had outdoor education programs were expensive.” So, he began exploring programs in Alaska. “I was looking at Alaska because I had spent the past two summers working in Naknek, (near King Salmon) and wanted to return. During an internet search, I found out that PWSC does not charge out of state tuition. The college is located in such a gorgeous place and it had the program that I wanted. I applied, was accepted, and got a job as a resident advisor (RA). Everything just fell into place once I made the decision to come up here. So, I know that it was the right decision.”

Jensen is grateful to all of those who influenced him and helped him get to where he is. When asked who's had the biggest influence on his life, Silas shared, “Probably my parents just reflecting on what they did to help me and my brother. And then I think about Ben Rush, my outdoor leadership instructor, who will probably become the most influential person in my life.”