Summary of my Internship? Oh boy, it has been a long ride.
This whole internship was just a huge rollercoaster that was already wild before it had even started. Just to be part of the first interns in south east Colorado is already a major step. I think that is what this whole internship was about, “Stepping up”. I started out with wanting to make an online document of the history of Manzanola, however, there was an issue lying around my former home in the “Valle Apartments” that dealt with migrants/tenants were being treated is such way that it seemed to be hiding under a rug. Tenants were billed up to $700/month for rent based on 30% of their income. The condition that most of the apartments were are just shocking. I lived there for about twelve years, but just now, with help of the Colorado Trust, we were able to speak up about those topics with La Junta Housing.
Presentation About Conditions and Environment by Marlene Garcia: https://www.dropbox.com/s/234ht6bk26mt8vp/Conditions%20%26%20environment_Presentation.pptx?dl=0
Unfortunately, since the percentage of how much of the income was being billed was federal law, it was very hard to change, but not everything was unsolved. La Junta Housing abide to providing lights around the apartments and fixing up the roads.
Going back to my main project, I performed interview with residents and older folks. I believe that history always changes, and everything should be recorded before it dies. Unfortunately, it is still not finished, due to lack of sources and content, but hopefully, I will enroll again for an internship next year. Plus, more than half of a part of Manzanola’s Athletic History document was overwritten and as of the moment, I am working on it to recover it.
One of the biggest challenges in this internship was time. This year, due to faith or some kind of supernatural force, I have been very busy. Weekends are not to take the day off anymore, it’s about finishing college homework that is due before midnight. Getting my time and my schedule was really hard because I had to balance school, athletics, extracurricular activities, out of school activities, etc.
This year, I participated in the Arkansas Valley Fiesta Queen as a contestant. I promoted myself as a model student of Manzanola, Colorado, who comes from a migrant family in Mexico, and we have decided to live here in the Arkansas Valley. Although I didn’t win, I can assure you that I made all of the Manzanolaner’s proud of who we are.
I also participated in a robotics team for my school. This was the first time that anything like this was ever done. It took two more hours out of my busy schedule on weekdays and it was really hard to balance things. But all hard work ended up being payed well, with Manzanola winning the 2nd BEST Award in robotics competition in Trinidad, Colorado. The two top BEST Award winners go to regionals in Arkansas. We were really shocked at the news, but we were happy. We are now going to be working on improving our robot and our work.
My work with my supervisor, Julie Worley, has been great. She is very understanding and has a strong voice that shows leadership. In a way, you could say that she was a role model. I saw her speaking in front of huge crowds with a strong voice, she went to my volleyball game, she was in the audience when I was competing for the Arkansas Valley Fiesta Queen, she was there when I gave out my Harvesting Ceremony. She has guided me through a process that I never had experienced and I think that was exceptional.
My fellow community members saw my internship as the start of something really big in Manzanola. They were proud of me taking the first step for a preschooler to better Manzanola and to raise awareness. People have called me a leader, which is a complement I take to heart. I believe that everyone has a good chance at something if they are willing to go for it.
I am thankful to Ogallala Commons for giving me this opportunities to explore my community and have work experience to better off my community. I can express how glad I am to have joined this wonderful organization that really encourages high school students to stay in their community and find opportunities that may not be presented. They were very understanding and compassionate.