Tanner Torres is one of 23 students that are in the outdoor business and tourism cohort. Together these students spend every morning from 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM outside learning what it takes to be an outdoor guide, the safety principles to follow when you’re outside, and how it can all translate to a career. At the end of the term, the student participate in an eight day winter expedition that tests their skills and abilities as they practice what they have learned. Torres was thrilled to learn of this degree program as he feels more natural and enthusiastic when he is outside instead of in a classroom.
Scarlet Disko: Where are you from originally?
Tanner Torres: Tomball, Texas near Houston is where I grew up. However, for the last three years I lived in Portland while attending Portland State University.
SD: What brought you to Bend?
TT: After spending several years bouncing around from degree path to degree path at Portland State I was about ready to give up. However when my best friend started talking about Bend and how great the college and community was there, I began wondering if it was time for a change. I was getting sick of the dreary, rainy days in Portland as well as the difficulty I had in connecting to others/finding friends at a college that was meant for commuters. After doing some research I came across the outdoor business and tourism major and thought it would be the perfect fit for me. I have never been that great of a student especially when I have to take classes that I don’t see a reason in taking. The classes for this program were ones I was excited for and wanting to take. Finally I had found my passion.
SD: It seems like so many people move here for a specific activity such as winter sports, rafting, beer, or rock climbing. If you have one, what is your Bend activity?
TT: Rock climbing and snowboarding. Rock climbing is something that really helped me discover my passion for pursuing this degree as I love the community affiliated with it and the adventure-aspect.
SD: What do you intend to do with that degree?
TT: My dream is to build and run my own rock climbing gym. Through this degree, I hope to learn the skills I need to open my own business one day. The climbing gym I came from in Portland was family-run and I learned a lot of how I want my gym to look one day. I know that I want to keep the prices down and utilize every bit of space I can. One of the unique aspects that I hope to include with this gym is therapy. My significant other will be an occupational therapist and I hope to incorporate that in my business.
SD: What is an interesting experience that has influenced your life to be what it is today?
TT: One day where I met a girl at my favorite coffee cart in Portland and it changed my life forever. She has influenced my life for the better ever since I met her. Coming from Texas I was used to always playing video games and following some of the norms of most Texans. But she opened my eyes to all the fun things there are to do like rock climbing. She motivated me and encouraged me to improve my climbing abilities as she coached me through new techniques and ways of climbing. She also introduced me to the most welcoming and accepting community of climbers at Stoneworks Rock Climbing. I would say it was a major influence in how I got to Bend.
Scarlet Disko | The Broadside