OC Intern Spotlight: Vanessa Leos
September 23, 2014

OC Intern Vaness Leos began interning with the South Plains Food Back on June 9th.  Her work there has taught her much about community, the make-up of organizations that meet needs within the community, and the importance of grassroots efforts in any organization.

We have enjoyed reading about Vanessa’s work this summer, but one post has been a favorite of ours:  “So Easily Taken for Granted”, in which Vanessa assesses the apsects of the Commonwealth in her hometown.  We share her blog post below:

Levelland, TX, the county seat of Hockley County, is on U.S. Highway 385, State Highway 114, Farm Road 330, and the Santa Fe Railroad in the central part of the county.  The Commonwealth exercise made me take an even closer look at what all is around me, and what I so selfishly take for granted each day. I have chosen only a few points to hit on because there is so much to say.

South Plains College is a starting place for many of our small town students, but plenty of international faces can be found throughout the campus. I love and appreciate this institution of higher learning, because I was a student, a chemistry lab assistant, and now an employee here. The campus and faculty’s goals do not end at teaching the students. We offer art, such as the mosaics throughout and various visiting exhibits in our creative arts building. We encourage exercise through intramural sports and a fully furnished gym. Lectures are offered on maintaining a healthy lifestyle. This past spring it was a weeklong event held during lunch break. Areas such as diet, exercise, time management, coping with stress, and other relevant subjects were addressed. I think students truly benefitted.

Find out more: http://www.southplainscollege.edu/

SPC
Industries present in Levelland include petroleum processing, oilfield-equipment manufacturing, and agribusiness. The oilfield has provided a job for my dad going on 40 years. It’s an eye opening experience to have friends from other parts of the country visit, especially those from the New England area. Lisa is from Buffalo and came to visit a few years ago. She could not believe there were pump jacks in backyards, next to schools, or that almost every other person drove a pick-up. I realized how we vary so much within a single country. She also made me see how TX really is its own little country and culture.

oil rig
Outside of the college there really is not much for young adults to participate in. Many attend and become involved with church and its activities. Levelland has almost every denomination represented. Churches are accessible and plentiful in the small west Texas town. Our faith and patriotism are strong and ever present.

We do not have a lot in the eyes of others as far as entertainment, excitement, or attractions, but this is my home. These are my people, family, friends, and some of the friendliest strangers one could hope to ever meet. In the words of Eric Church, “This is my hometown.”

We’ve enjoyed reading about your internship, Vanessa.  We wish you all the best this fall semester!