Federal Way is my home. It’s where I learned how to swim as a child at the aquatic center, where I practiced soccer at the dirt field in Lakota Park, and growing up where I loved to climb around the massive castle at Steele Lake Park.
I have worked several different jobs throughout the city including doing concessions at Celebration Park and hosting at Billy McHale’s. Then in college, I spent three summers with the Federal Way Parks Department.
The experiences that I carry with me from this work, plus being from Federal Way, all helped me land my current internship with Waste Management which, fun fact, is the largest recycler in North America.
One important advantage that I had when applying was that I was from Federal Way, which is an important community for Waste Management.
WM has partnered with Federal Way for more than 30 years. The WM team has worked with the city and our communities to make recycling easier and more accessible to such an extent that, growing up, I thought WM was the only company that managed recycling and garbage!
The opportunity to work with the WM Recycle Corps has been rewarding.
It has taken me back to Steele Lake for Federal Way Kids Day, to the same park I enjoyed as a child. I can never forget the first time coming up to that playground when I was about 6 and seeing how large and amazing it all looked.
For 12 years after that, I would go back there for soccer photos through the Federal Way Football League.
During my time at the Federal Way Parks Department, my job was to keep Steele Lake Park clean and safe for the community.
Whether it was birthday parties, reunions, Fourth of July celebrations, memorials, baptisms, fishing excursions, or anything else under the sun, it always made me happy to see others enjoying their time at a place I had so much fun growing up.
My WM internship has given me the opportunity to interact personally with individuals and businesses of Federal Way to help improve recycling habits, including some of my own!
This experience is something I will never forget. The places and people I have come to know have all had an impact on both this job experience as well as my own life experience.
In addition, I am proud to have had the opportunity to give back to my hometown of Federal Way.
My name is Benjamin Bowman, I was born and raised in the city of Federal Way where my parents still live and am currently finishing up my degree at the University of Washington Tacoma where I will be graduating with a major in politics, philosophy and economics this December.