Final Post – A Bent County Internship

My second internship at Ogallala Commons was certainly a fun-packed adventure over these past few months. To recap, my summer internship involved a whole lot of different organizations and people. Collaborating with Bent County, the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, and the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, we created the basis of a Fort Lyon tour guide. Fort Lyon, close to my hometown of Las Animas, used to be a 19th century army fort used for western expansion. After its abandonment in the latter half of the 1800s, the fort was transferred over to the Navy, which operated as a hospital through its ownership under Veteran Affairs as well. Today, the fort functions as a rehabilitation center for Denver’s homeless population. The historic buildings are used for several purposes for the resident’s uses and expertise. One building is even used as a bike repair shop!

There is still a lot of work to do on this brochure, and I plan to assist with this long after my Ogallala Commons internship has ended. Together with these organizations, we plan to have a complete driving tour of Southeast Colorado (but that’s a big goal we have yet to work on!) Overall, my experience was wonderful, and it was fantastic getting to meet new faces in DoLA and CCH.

During the Ogallala Commons retreat, we were asked to develop three different goals in the areas of communication, leadership, and professional network expansion we plan to complete in the time of our internships. For communication, I wrote how I needed to reduce the use of fillers in sentences (words like “uhm” and “you know”). This internship has brought about several different meetings with many people, and I’ve gotten used to preparing and knowing what I need to say for speeches so I won’t use fillers.

My networking goal was to strengthen the ties that I have with members of different state organizations. My time at Boggsville Historic Site has gotten me to know much of the state historical society employees in several departments. The creation of this brochure not only led me to new connections, but also strengthened my existing ones through their help in the making of what could possibly be a greater tour of Southeast Colorado.

Finally, my leadership goal is to influence youth in my community to help and learn about their local history. A good majority of the youth in Bent County are unaware of the potential that history has in the area. Through my previous Ogallala Commons internship, which created a local history curriculum for K-12 students and this summer’s, I hope to influence our local youth to get involved in our community and save our vital history.

Overall, I loved interning with Ogallala Commons for a second time. This opportunity was immense, and I love the goals OC is trying to accomplish. A huge thanks goes out to OC, DoLA, Bent County, and CCH for a fantastic internship!

Cover of Brochure (will be printed in black & white)
America’s Byways Map of the Santa Fe Trail. This area is what I am hoping will become the larger driving tour.

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