I am at the end of a very memorable summer and a great intern experience with Ogallala Commons. The TCEDC Garden and Food Center Youth Internship that I co-supervised with Tiana Suazo has been challenging, but successful. Just as we sowed and cared for the garden this summer, a bond has grown between all of us, a bond that I feel will last beyond the end of the project. I sincerely care for the young adults I have come to know, and the respect they have for Tiana and I inspires me to become a strong leader. The garden is productive, even though we had a tough summer of drought, abnormally high temperatures and insect pests. The interns have gained knowledge from first hand experience, and so have I.
I feel that the best thing about my experience was sharing my knowledge with the interns. I have found that I am a natural educator, and this summer has inspired me to pursue a teaching career. They were fascinated to learn about the different insects and how they can benefit or harm a garden. The conversations we have while out in the field range from social issues like racism and cultural identity to what food sovereignty and sustainable living mean. My community service project showed me that my 10 years of music study were not in vain, even though I have yet to perform any of the songs I have written.
There were plenty of challenges throughout the project. We had no truck to transport large materials, but several community members were happy to lend us theirs when needed. When we began renovating the West greenhouse, we had no lumber to rebuild the raised beds. Once again, the community supported us and we received a generous donation from the local saw mill. The project will be completed soon.Through this experience I truly gained perspective on what a communal effort looks like, and what it means to lead the younger generation to revelation.