Community Interns & Apprentices

Jesus Beltran

“I have learned more in one summer about nursing than all my rotations in college combined! As a senior at WT A&M University, I needed to figure out what department I wanted to pursue after graduation. Thanks to the internship, I know what I want to do.”– Jesus Beltran, Hereford Regional Medical Center, Hereford, Texas


“Participating in this internship has been an amazing opportunity for me to learn so much about the art that is all around Atwood.  I was able to work on interview skills and creating conversations–a skill that is particularly difficult for a person with autism like me, to develop.”– Blake Hampton, Rawlins County HTC, Atwood Kansas


“There were some days however, where I questioned if my presence and lessons made an impact on them. Yet the next day, as if someone had heard my discouragement, a young mind would come up and greet me with a hug, telling me how much they enjoyed Garden Club.”– Mercedez Hernandez, Maverick Boys & Girls Club, Amarillo, Texas


“I first stepped onto this farm after midnight on May 29th 2014. Though I had some idea of what to expect, there was much I didn’t. There have been a lot of learning experiences during these last eight weeks–but nothing that I could view as a failure.”– Allison Bolte, Ponca Tribe Ag Farm, Ponca City, Oklahoma

Mallory Horinek

“My internship was more than I had hoped or expected it to be. I enjoyed becoming more self- aware of the need for local foods, and grew a passion for telling others about it.”

“I was able to create floor plans and site maps, which made me realize just how much I like drafting It has opened an entirely new door and I’m excited to see where it leads.”– Danya Larreau, Arnold EDC, Arnold, Nebraska


“I made three videos during my internship, with pictures of the town and its events, information about our three restaurants, and interviews with five people about what our community has to offer, and why people should move here.”– Skyler Hembree, Wichita County EDC, Extension, and Fair, Leoti, Kansas


“My favorite experience was helping with the Gardening classes. Although the attendance numbers may not have been high, the classes were successful in getting the clients to grow vegetables at home.”– Kiley Braune, South Central Texas, Community Health Center, Gonzales, Texas


“I managed the packaging and distribution of the Senior Food Bundles in Cheyenne County. It was been the most rewarding and fulfilling part of my internship.”

– Tiffany Poet, Northwest Kansas Healthy Communities, St. Francis, Kansas

vanessa leos 2

“I succeeded in maintaining a casual and professional rapport with the GRUB employees. I did not go over each morning and walk around asking questions or handing out sheets for them to fill out. I learned from them by spending time and putting in a full day’s work.”– Vanessa Leos, South Plains Food Bank GRUB Program, Lubbock, Texas


“A community garden is the opportunity for social outreach: by gathering the community, providing nutritious food, engaging youth to learning the importance of gardening, and facilitating a connection to food and the land.”

– Elizabeth Roesler, Heart of Lubbock Community Garden, Lubbock, Texas


“The research I am doing makes me feel empowered.That is because knowledge is power. I feel that I am making a difference in the lives of others by giving them easy access to the information about the Ogallala Aquifer.”

– Shelby Thibodeaux, Ogallala Commons Stewarding Our Aquifer Initiative


“The most exciting part are market operations each Friday. Interacting with vendors and patrons is enjoyable and the market managers and volunteers have been very helpful.”– Anna Akers-Lewis, Teller County Farmers Market Association, Woodland Park, Colorado

Allison Cox

“The final outcome for me was leaving with more confidence in my nursing skills and better knowledge of what it takes to provide the best care for my patients.”– Allison Cox, Covenant Hospital, Plainview, Texas

Beto Rincon

“I was able to develop a job description for my ideal job as a community food systems director of operations. My experience with Ogallala Commons allowed me the unique opportunity to travel to the American Southwest, Midwest, and the Badlands of South Dakota to observe individuals doing aspects of this vision.”– Beto Rincon, Apprentice, LULAC Community Gardens, Seguin, Texas


“I created, developed, directed, acted and produced a Public Service Announcement to  encourage tribal members to drink more water. I was given the opportunity to lead a group management training session with the other NB3 staff members and interns.”

– Ashley Pino, Notah Begay III Foundation, Bernalillo, New Mexico

Colton Lundegreen

“I am in the process of becoming a County Extension Agent. Being able to work with extension throughout most of my internship helped me gain a greater knowledge about what all Extension does and why they do it.”

– Colton Lundegreen, Swisher County, Texas


“We are the first married couple in Ogallala Commons Community Apprentice Program , and Micah has gained connections with other farmers, which has allowed him to expand his cultural practices to improve our vegetable production.”

– Micah & Ashley Venhaus, MV Produce, Tulia, Texas


“The reason I full-heartedly agree with the mission of Ogallala Commons is because I hope to see that same change in my community. I can tell you for a fact that although I come from such an area defined to be in poverty standards, we as a people and community do not see that. What we see ourselves as, especially, from an Indigenous standpoint being Navajo, we see ourselves as survivors and a people of destiny.”

– Nikki Tulley, NB3 Native Strong Program, Santa Ana, New Mexico

Karlie Novian

“Ogallala Commons has a great program. It very unique to find one that promotes work in the rural communities. I admit I was a little hesitant about how much I would gain, but this internship proved me wrong.”

– Karlie Novian, Pampa Regional Medical Center, Pampa, Texas


“The completion of my internship is, to date, one of my most significant accomplishments. I was able to aquatint myself with a variety of people and organizations that could potentially influence my career path and success further down the road.“

– Dollie Lookingbill, Amarillo Area Foundation, Amarillo, Texas


“My internship was a little challenging at first because I was so unfamiliar with an office setting and how nonprofits work. I am also a very shy person and I know that leads to some communication issues and smaller problems in the beginning. As my attitude began to change, things began to fall into place. I had a clear head and was able to focus on my purpose, starting the Taos Farm Stand Market. I overcame my shyness and met many new people that were able to help. This success led to many other successes in my internship journey.”

– Tiana Suazo, Taos County EDC, Taos, New Mexico


“During my time working with Mr. Jason Hodges, I have become more knowledgeable about what it takes to be a professional in the field of Landscape Architecture. Mr. Hodges is the founder of his own business and that this adds a unique layer to working in the field of Landscape Architecture, and also added another level to the learning experience for myself.”– Greg Byers, Prairie Workshop, LLC, Lubbock, Texas