Today was my last day on the internship, I can’t believe it! These 10 weeks have flown by. We spent the day visiting teachers, creating Elizabeth’s 4-H schedule for the new school year. As a welcome back gift we also handed out goody bags of that office-made salsa and Doritos to all the teachers and faculty Elizabeth works with. It is too bad my internship did not cover any of the school year! It would have been fun to work with kids in the classroom.
It’s funny that on my last day we visited Bland K-12 because that’s what we did on my first day! On the first day though we were wrapping up things from last school year. A very circular experience and such a BLAST. I had no idea what Bland VA was until I was offered the job and did not know what to expect. Coming out here to Bland County was possibly the best thing to happen to me after graduating college. I have learned SO much, had all the adventures I hoped for, and more. It is nearly impossible to summarize it. Being in a new place and culture on my own has positively influenced every aspect of my life. I have an even sharper sense of who I am and what I want to do now that I have entered the “real” world.
My next step is to go back home and continue applying for jobs. Be it with the extension, conservation districts, or a consulting agency my goal is to get a job that mixes environmental policy, science, and education. With my stronger sense of direction I am very excited and confident that I will find my way.
Home for me is the tidewater area of Virginia, and I have no clue where I will end up, but southwestern Virginia will always be near to my heart. Of course, I plan on visiting when I can, catching up with the new friends I have made and enjoying the beautiful trails and rivers. I will forever be thankful for my surrogate mothers and father, Kathryn Dunn and Elizabeth and Randy Johnson, for bringing me out here and looking after me. My time with the Virginia Cooperative Extension in Bland has been wonderful and I hope many more interns get to experience it!