YOSEMITE – Gabriel Lawan-Ying, an 8-year-old from Gainesville, Fla., asked the Make-A-Wish Foundation to help him achieve his dream – he wanted to become a Yosemite National Park Ranger.
On Monday, Gabriel earned the title of Honorary National Park Ranger after a full day of experiencing what it was like to carry out the duties of a Ranger in Yosemite.
Working with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Yosemite National Park staff put Gabriel to work, assisting with the type of situations a Park Ranger might deal with on any given day in the wide expanse of Yosemite.
Gabriel worked with the Yosemite Fire Crew to put out a wildland fire, went on a naturalist walk through Cook’s Meadow with a Park Ranger, worked on a search and rescue operation involving an injured hiker and assisted the Yosemite medical team in transporting the patient to a waiting helicopter.
After Gabriel’s full day of work, he was made an Honorary Park Ranger. Approximately 300 people, including Yosemite community members and several dozen of Yosemite’s Park Rangers, attended a ceremony in which Gabriel received his Honorary Park Ranger badge and credentials.
United States Magistrate Judge Michael Seng and Yosemite National Park Superintendent Don Neubacher presided over the ceremony in which Gabriel also received a wooden park ranger plaque and a flag that was flown over Yosemite Valley on Sunday.
“Make-A-Wish® grants the wish of a child diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition in the United States and its territories, on average, every 38 minutes. We believe that a wish experience can be a game-changer. This one belief guides us. It inspires us to grant wishes that change the lives of the kids we serve.” www.wish.org