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How an 8-Year-Old Became a Yosemite Park Ranger

In the summer of 2014, eight-year-old Gabriel Lavan-Ying had one big wish: to become a park ranger. Gabriel has Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a rare and sometimes life-threatening disorder that affects the strength of the skin and joints (and, in Gabriel's case, the heart and blood vessel walls). Make-A-Wish partnered with the U.S. National Park Service to make Gabriel's dream a reality. In this touching short, Gabriel fights a forest fire, helps rescue a stranded hiker, and takes an oath to become Yosemite's youngest park ranger.

Read about Gabriel’s experience in Yosemite National Park and see more from filmmaker Chris Mckechnie.

The Short Film Showcase spotlights exceptional short videos created by filmmakers from around the world and selected by National Geographic editors. We look for work that affirms National Geographic's belief in the power of science, exploration, and storytelling to change the world. To submit a film for consideration, please email The filmmakers created the content presented, and the opinions expressed are their own, not those of National Geographic Partners.