#WHYoming: Ryan Rust

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Welcome to our series, #WHYoming, brought to you in partnership by Kaumo Law.

We are highlighting people from around our communities and asking them a few questions. We want to learn a little about them and see why they chose this great state to raise their families, start their businesses, or simply to ask — Why Wyoming?

This week, I had a chance to sit down with Ryan Rust. He is the Executive Director of the Young at Heart Community Center.


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Ryan, how did you end up in Rock Springs?

I was born and raised in Green River. I graduated from the University of Wyoming in 2011. I moved back to town right after I graduated college and began working as a mechanic for the school district, and I saw this job opportunity open up. I had since enrolled in the Masters in Public Administration program at UW, so I’m still doing that, and I’ve been here for two years.

I moved back to be near family. Just over five years ago, I met my fiance and we moved into a little house in Rock Springs together and I’ve been here ever since.


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What is something unique about you?

I am a sixth generation in Sweetwater County. My great great-great grandparents were married here in 1888, one year before Wyoming even became a state.

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What do you appreciate most about our community?

I like the outdoor opportunities, the recreation. The slower pace of life; I really enjoy that. And I like that it’s a close-knit community and when anything happens you always have that community support there and people that care about you, so I like that.

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If you could give one brief piece of advice, what would it be?

I would say to get involved and be part of the community; be the change you wish to see. Positive change happens because people take an active role in their community, and I would really encourage people to do that.


“Be the change you wish to see.

– Ryan Rust


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Where is your favorite place to hang out in Sweetwater County?

Probably on the Green River. I’m a big fisherman, especially out north of town between Green River and Seedskadee, I love being up there.

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Would you rather walk, ride a bike, take a horse or drive a car?

I would say that I’d rather bet on a horse, work on the car, and walk.

I like evening walks in the community. I also like to back pack and hike, up in the Wind Rivers, up to Veera Lake.

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What would you sing at karaoke night?

I would probably sing With a Little Help From My Friends, the Joe Cocker version. But there’s no way I could hit the notes that he hits.

It just happens to be one of my favorite songs, and I think there’s some good messages in there.

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How would your friends describe you?

I’m pretty quiet; I’m contemplative, introspective. I’m a thinker, but I also like to think I have a dry sense of humor and that’s what they would say I hope.

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What is your proudest accomplishment?

Certainly being here at Young at Heart and leading the organization. Being able to help so many community members, I’m pretty proud of that.

When I was 15, I was able to save up all my money and took my grandpa fishing in Alaska for Christmas. Because that had always been a dream of his and so I was pretty happy to be able to do that for him. That was neat to do. I out fished him.

Just getting to spend that time with him and see a new place was pretty cool.


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Who would you want to play you in a movie about your life?

I would say because I’m an old soul and Scottish heritage, so it would have to pick Sean Connery.

Don’t know that I look like him and he’s 60 years older than me, but I relate to him. I’d like to say I’m as suave, but I’m not.

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Why do you continue to live in Wyoming?

The biggest reason is family, because my family is all here and we’re a very close-knit family, and I love to be around them.

But also, I like the community and the outdoor activities. I know the best fishing spots and I don’t want to have to re learn those somewhere else.

I think there’s a lot of opportunity.

People are always talking about how younger folks move out of the state because there’s not a lot of opportunities.

And while that’s true in some respects, I think that there’s other kinds of opportunities in Sweetwater County and Wyoming you wouldn’t get elsewhere, and I enjoy that.

– Ryan Rust

There are good paying jobs, it’s a high standard of living. I actually am one of the odd ducks that really likes the weather, I like the cold and long winters.

 

 

If you’d like us to interview yourself or someone you know for #WHYoming, please send us suggestions to Lillian@sweetwaternow.com