#FYPx 2016 Winners

Edgar Woo

Edgar is a Miami based freelance photographer, social media influencer and radio show host. Edgar is the Creative Director for (@MIAexplore) which is a community-driven and visionary culture that bridges photography and music together. He prides himself in pushing the culture forward by exploring different styles of photography and music showcasing inspiration through his platform within the city of Miami and worldwide. With the use of mediums such as the radio show, highly successful photowalks and other supported events, MIAexplore aims to stimulate minds and set forth the synergy between music, photography and its ties to the creative process. Following the success of previous campaigns Edgar and his colleagues have worked on, came the birth of MIAexplore Media company as a means to connect the influencer/content creator with the client. You can follow Edgar and connect with him on Instagram and Twitter.

"I’m eternally grateful to be part of FYPx 2016 and excited to embark on this adventurous journey to explore Yosemite and other national parks. Through storytelling I aim to bring to light these amazing national treasures and showcase how privileged we are to have fascinating parks that should be protected for future generations to also enjoy and experience. The imagery itself will motivate my social media followers to visit, but what will be most rewarding is knowing they will learn to live."

Erin McGrady

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During college Erin picked her way through the rainforest in Belize to explore Mayan ruins and had her first experience snorkeling in crystal blue waters. After graduation she went on a backpacking adventure through Italy and was captivated by the feeling of freedom and excitement that came with meeting new people and exploring new places. She kept journals during both of those trips and thus began her love affair with travel, words and storytelling.

Erin’s interest in photography didn’t come until later when she took a job as a Divemaster on Andros Island in the Bahamas. An old Polaroid camera made the journey with her and she found herself captivated by the power of a photograph. Upon moving back to the U.S. she called the Baltimore area home for ten years. During this time she taught middle school, road-tripped around the country and started her own photography business. This past June, however, she took a risk for love and traded it all for the mountains of Asheville, North Carolina. Most days you can find her on the trails with her girlfriend and their two dogs. She currently shoots with a Fuji and is mostly powered by peanut butter. You can follow Erin on InstagramFacebookEtsy, and by visiting her blog.

“I’m so very thankful for this opportunity and am looking forward to sharing my experience with so many people. I hope to bring an awareness to the unique needs of our parks as well as showcase all that they have to offer. I believe educating people through stories and pictures is one of the best ways we can guarantee their existence for years to come.”

Faith E. Briggs

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Faith is a Brooklyn-based documentary filmmaker with a focus on cultural representation. She is a Yale alumna and is passionate about using research to provide a historical context for contemporary stories. She believes that artists have a responsibility to provoke the social conscience of a society and it is her desire to create nuanced work, sharing stories from communities of color and creating spaces for conversation. She has a Masters in Documentary Journalism and is currently working on two projects that explore Native American cultural appropriation as well as efforts to inspire youth involvement in agribusiness within West Africa.

Faith is a fixture in the urban running community in New York City and a proud member of Black Roses NYC. She is the co-founder of Movement: Black August, a movement that sheds light on lesser known African American historical sites to deeply connect with the rich history of the Diaspora. On the daily, Faith is drawn to writing on identity politics, menswear, colorful walls, lowercase letters and positive vibes. You can join her adventures via @faithevebee across platforms and connect using Instagram and her website.

“I’m absolutely overjoyed to be heading out West with the National Park Foundation for FYPx 2016. As a lover of history I cannot wait to connect with an old environment that is new to me. I’m so looking forward to digging deeply into the history of the places we’ll be going and to share stories of these places with others.”

Jacob Fu

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Jacob cofounded the popular travel blog, Local Adventurer, with his wife. He believes that adventure is not just found in far, exotic places, but also in your backyard and works to inspire others to explore more locally. Jacob was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, but has been moving to a new city every year. He's an avid hiker, recently got into bouldering, and hopes to visit all 413 national parks. You can follow Jacob on InstagramFacebookYouTube, and by visiting his blog.

“I'm incredibly excited and honored to be part of FYPx 2016! I love sharing my passion for the parks through photos and video, and hope to inspire others to explore their own backyards as well. I can't wait to meet the rest of the group and experience the parks together with a new perspective!”

Juan Flores

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Juan is entering a new career path as a Social Media and Community Manager for Roberts Camera and Used Photo Pro in Indianapolis, Indiana. His path stemmed from the Herron School of Art + Design, where he earned his BFA in Visual Communication Design. He is one of the moderators for @igersindy, a community account that brings Hoosier creatives together.

Outside of work, he can be found wandering through the state of Indiana, other Midwestern cities, and nearby points of interest. He uses his design background to document his travel excursions through photography. Along with his photography, he likes to formulate his messages, sometimes in a comedic manner, through experience and knowledge because he loves to learn and believes you can never stop learning. You can follow Juan’s adventures and connect with him on Instagram.

“I’m honored to be selected for the #FYPx to be a part of a life-changing experience to San Francisco, Yosemite NP, and surrounding areas. My goal is to formulate my documentations for others that will be relatable and hopefully inspirational to create a dialogue for protecting and experiencing these beautiful places.”

Mario Villanueva

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Mario currently resides in Austin, Texas. He moved there right after graduating from Texas State University with a BFA in Studio Art. He considers himself a visual artist, social media influencer, photographer and a social entrepreneur, but most importantly a person who is making every moment count. Mario is originally from Mexico but moved to the U.S. when he was three years old. Being the oldest out of four and the first to graduate from college, he always had the responsibility to be ahead of the game, not only for himself, but also for the rest of his family.

At the moment Mario works for the city of Austin Parks and Recreation as an Art Counselor for the Dougherty Arts Center. When not at work, he’s constantly keeping up with his own endeavors within social media and art. He recently started UNICO, an online LGBTQ journal that dives into the lives of people making a difference within the community. You can check out the first two stories by visiting Mario’s blog site. You can also follow UNICO on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter.

Mario’s love and passion for art is what has kept him moving forward. Whether it’s shooting with friends on the east side of Austin or starting a new painting from weeks and weeks of planning, the idea that something amazing can be created from anything is everything to him. You can follow Mario and his adventures on Instagram and Twitter.

“I’m very grateful to have been given this opportunity by the National Park Foundation and eager to go explore both San Francisco national parks and Yosemite National Park. I know that with the #FYPx experience I will not only become a better person but influence others like myself to do the same. I can’t wait to share this moment with the rest of you.”

Victoria Gonzalez

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Victoria is a Colombian-American writer who is most inspired by hearing the stories of people and places. She is an active advocate of women travelers as part of Travel Latina, and hopes to increase the visibility of a different kind of explorer. Her dedication to seeing the world and love of history come together in an activity she calls “histourism,”and her blog OpenAirPursuit.com shares those experiences and photographs. She is currently pursuing a future in cultural heritage with hopes of changing how people visit museums and landmarks. All work and no play definitely isn't her style, and so, she dedicates the rest of her time playing roller derby and is known as “Tacocat.” You can follow Victoria’s adventures on InstagramWordpressTwitter, and Travel Latina.

“It’s impossible to compare to the excitement visiting a national park gives me, and I am overjoyed to share that fun as part of the Find Your Park Expedition. These places belong to ALL of us, and there is no better way to experience their inspiration than by seeing them in person. I can’t wait to see “America’s Best Idea” in action with all of you, and hope you also #FindYourPark!”

Victoria Ramos

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Born and raised in a border-town in South Texas, Victoria is a passionate photography student in Central Texas. She enjoys traveling, meeting new people with the same interests, and loves taking portraits of people she meets along the way. Her recent travels have sparked a new interest in exploring and photographing landscapes.

Victoria is a part of @igsanmarcos, a local Instagram community that gathers creative minds around Central Texas to showcase and improve their photography skills. She’s learned that mobile photography and social media are evolving the way people enjoy content, and she’s dedicated herself to putting out a series of curated images to her Instagram feed. She’s eager to keep learning and incredibly excited to start her new journey. You can follow Victoria and connect with her on Instagram.

“As someone who was only exposed to national parks less than a year ago, the news that I was selected for the 2016 Find Your Park Expedition is extremely overwhelming. This year the National Park Service is celebrating their centennial and I’m very excited to share the amazing things these parks have to offer and continue the celebration with others.”

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