Early last fall, we were offered the tremendous opportunity to slide into the editor’s chair withPOB. We didn’t waste a second in accepting.

Recently, our online gathering place for surveying professionals, RPLS Network, sent out an email “introducing” the POB editor. Since my story is hardly one worth repeating, I specifically used the platform to ask the recipients to share their stories with me. That’s truly what is interesting.

This was and remains a genuine request from this chair — please let me know what you’re all about — but admittedly most of you likewise don’t think your story is any big deal and/or would just rather keep it to yourself. Fair enough.

A few of you did bite, though. And, as always, it is truly humbling to us when any reader takes the time to say hello, offer some advice or encouragement and, especially, tell us what has brought them to this point.

There was one response in particular that deserves to be read by many, many more eyes than the ragged old pair I have:

Good Afternoon Mike,

My name is Alyssa Salas, I read your bio from an RPLS Network email I received, and wanted to reach out and introduce myself.

A little about me: I am a 30-year-old Hispanic female originally from Del Rio, Texas. I am in the beginning stage of going for my survey license, starting with having to test out for my SIT. My father, Armando V. Salas, was a former RPLS until a year and a half ago when he passed away at a young age of 55. He was the one who taught me the ropes, which also led to my interest in architecture. I graduated with my Bachelor’s in Architecture back in 2013, and since then I have continued to work in both architecture and land surveying fields. Like you, I love everything about construction from beginning to end, and have recently had a major interest in getting involved with offshore surveying. I know things are rough right now, but if you have any leads for which companies to check out or even people to contact, I’ll be sure to do so! Thanks, and have a great day! 

Sincerely, Alyssa Salas.

Folks, in more than 30 years in media, the last 20 in construction, never has a single piece of correspondence meant more to me than the brief email Alyssa sent along. It is humbling yet inspiring, sobering yet triumphant, gratifying yet challenging, all in equal parts. It is brilliant.

On those days when we wonder just why we do what we do, it will forever be our motivation.

Although critically important, we share this with you in not only the hope that, if you have opportunity, you may be able to assist Alyssa as she gets rolling. If you can, thank you.

But there’s so much more to this. As you all know far too well, there’s a lot of talk in the surveying, mapping and geospatial professions about the aging demographics. Who, goes the familiar cry, will do the work when all the 56-year-old guys pack it in?

Alyssa Salas will … and we’re thinking there are a lot of other great young people out there who will, too.

Share your thoughts on this column at pobonline.com or rpls.com. To contact POB editors, send an e-mail to andersonmd@bnpmedia.com.