Life
The oldest United States park ranger just celebrated her 100th birthday
Betty's story is beyond amazing and one that everyone should hear. She didn't even start her career with the National Park Service until she was 85.
Jessica Adler
10.05.21

Many people assume they don’t have enough time to follow their passions.

Betty Reid Soskin of Richmond, California celebrated her 100th birthday on September 22.

She has been a park ranger since she was 85, which shows you it’s never too late to follow your dreams.

YouTube screenshot - ABC News
Source:
YouTube screenshot - ABC News

She may be the oldest park ranger, but she still has a lot to accomplish.

Soskin’s original work at the park was a temporary position, but four years later she became a park ranger.

She worked with the NPS on a grant funded by PG&E to uncover untold stories of African-Americans on the Home Front during WWII, which led to a temporary position working with the NPS at the age of 84. In 2011, Betty became a permanent NPS employee and has been leading public programs and sharing her personal remembrances and observations at the park visitor center.‘ – nps.org

YouTube screenshot - ABC News
Source:
YouTube screenshot - ABC News

Born in 1921, Soskin has reached a true milestone in her life.

Now, she is recognized for her life and service as a park ranger. Betty was honored and photographed in uniform at the Rosie the Riveter WWII Homefront National Historical Park.

YouTube screenshot - ABC News
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YouTube screenshot - ABC News

The park commemorates the efforts made by women during WWII.

YouTube screenshot - ABC News
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YouTube screenshot - ABC News

“People need heroes and I’m maybe one of those. I think it’s important we all follow our passions, we all need passions.” – Soskin told ABC News.

YouTube screenshot - ABC News
Source:
YouTube screenshot - ABC News

Betty meets Obama

Betty was chosen by the National Parks Service to participate in a national tree-lighting ceremony in 2015. The tree lighting took place in President’s Park at the White House.

Betty was given the opportunity to introduce President Barack Obama in the annual PBS special that was telecast nationwide. – nps.gov

“Standing with Obama on the stage in Washington, D.C., that was the moment that, I really, my whole life came together,” Soskin told KGO-TV.

YouTube screenshot - ABC News
Source:
YouTube screenshot - ABC News

Soskin has been asked over the course of her life how she has accomplished such longevity.

“I wish I knew. I’m not sure that there is a secret. I think it’s all just one foot at a time. One foot in front of the other. I don’t think any one of us really understands what it’s about.” – Betty Soskin

YouTube screenshot - ABC News
Source:
YouTube screenshot - ABC News

Soskin was celebrated by her town recently after a school was named in her honor.

The Betty Reid Soskin Middle School is located in El Sobrante, California.

“Having a school named for me is more than I ever thought of because it means that a number of children will go into the world knowing who I was and what I was doing here. Maybe it will make a difference. I think maybe it will make a difference.” – Betty Soskin

YouTube screenshot - ABC News
Source:
YouTube screenshot - ABC News

Betty’s resiliency and fearless attitude toward life have made her easy to admire and look up to.

There are so many lessons to learn from her and maybe the most important one is to never stop dreaming and reaching for a special goal in life, no matter your age.

See this inspirational lady tell her story in the video below!

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

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By Jessica Adler
hi@sbly.com
Jessica Adler is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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