Conclusion

My internship with the Frenchtown Heritage Marketplace is coming to a close and I have been reflecting upon what I have seen and learned. For one, I am consistently impressed at the amount of work my supervisor Michelle puts into the organization. It seems as if every time I talk to her she is being overwhelmed by the amount of work she has in front of her, and yet she always gets it done. It is inspiring to see her put so much time and effort into a cause that she cares about so much. At the same time, it is disheartening  because even though she cares so much about helping, immediate success is not guaranteed. My other takeaway has been that economic development, or raising an area out of poverty is perhaps one of the hardest tasks for an individual to undertake because there are so many factors at play which are uncontrollable. It is not that the work is done in vain. It is just that sometimes what is really holding a community back is something out of our control. Even with that in mind, I am still optimistic about future social entrepreneurship and economic development projects.

-Ean Johnson

Reflection Time

As this semester comes to a close, I have begun to truly reflect on my time here at Domi Station and the experience and value that it has provided me with. My time at Domi Station has truly inspired me to think about possibly venturing my entrepreneurial spirit into the real world one day. Being surrounded by various successful start-ups constantly can do that to a person. While Domi is home to these many companies, it was also the prime location for the many different events it held this semester, my absolute favorite being the FAMU App Challenge. This challenge, if you recall from my previous post, put various competitors to the test, requiring them to create and present an app for smart phones in only 3 days. Although I was simply there to clean and make sure that certain items were always restocked, and by items I am referring to one “item,” that item being coffee, I learned so much just by watching these young students take their idea from imagination to reality in under 72 hours. I can honestly that I have been inspired by the people, places, and things that I was surrounded by at Domi Station this semester. It is ending much too soon, but I will have these experiences with me always, which is all I can really ask for.

Caught in {Perk}atory.

(pur kah tawr e) n. The anguished, prolonged period spent waiting for a fresh pot of coffee to be ready.

Over the past few weeks, the team and I have FINALLY launched the tricked out truck, and opened it for business! With the help of our fearless leader, Macy we will be serving complimentary brewed coffee this entire week (11/16-20), in the shopping plaza at Four Oaks Community Church in Killearn. I had a lot of fun learning how to operate the mobile cafe, using little tricks to make service faster, AND! Macy even let me drive the truck (it was only for a block but I’m still pretty pleased).

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I have had an absolute blast preparing for this event. Last week the guys and I received training from Zack (I hope I spelled that right). He has been serving as a barista for about five years he said.

WHO KNEW THERE WERE SO MANY STEPS TO PULLING ONE SHOT OF ESPRESSO! I honestly felt like I was training for the barista Olympics. I was a little lost at first, and was prone to skipping some steps by mistake, but everyone was very patient and encouraging.

Here are some pictures of Victor and Sean whipping up some mean caffeine.

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As this internship program comes to a close, I am starting to get a little sad. I am very thankful however for all the useful firsthand experience, and advice I’ve received, and I am happy that the team and I can finish the semester strong.

 

Food for Life, Food for Thought

Wheh! It’s been a while since my last post, so get ready for updates.

Recently, Tallahassee had a big event which supports and showcases the local food system, The Farm Tour. Twenty-eight local farms opened their doors and invited the public in to experience farm life. There were tours that included barnyard animals, farm-fresh goods, workshops on beekeeping, hayrides and conversation with farmers who are committed to organic production. It was during this tour that I traveled on the tour as emissary of the Food Policy Committee, surveying participants of the local food system to find out about any barriers they have faced in their attempts to participate. The goal is the lower these barriers and share the resources people have found to eliminate these barriers. It was great seeing so many people passionate about what they do on the farm tour, they were eager to share their way of life.

What’s next is a film screening I’ve been working on to organize to spread awareness about the importance of participating in the local food system, and increase attendance of the Market Place. The screening is Thursday, November 19th 2015 at The Plant on 517 W Gaines Street. This is the first event I’ve tried to put together and have learned a lot about communication, inter-organization collaboration, and persistency. Looking forward to seeing how it turns out.

 

Celebratory 5K

Girls on the Run is busy preparing for our celebratory 5k! This signature event takes place at the end of each GOTR season as a perfect way for the girls to experience confidence gained by accomplished goals and celebrate all their hard-work with their friends, families, coaches, and running buddies. Each girls has a running buddy who is either their parent, family member, or a community member. What makes the GOTR 5k so magical is that it’s not only about finishing a race, but it is an opportunity for all the girls and coaches from all of the council’s sites to come together and enjoy festivities ranging from bib-bedazzling to face painting.

I’m so excited to take part in this event to celebrate girls learning to be joyful and confident. Getting to learn all of the work, planning, and organization that goes into making an event like the end of season 5k a success makes me respect and appreciate the GOTR team so much more. So many dedicated volunteers are taking part to ensure a great experience for our girls.

The Open Door Campaign

The Open Door Campaign is being launched today by our team at Unhoused Humanity, which is a plan to house 25 eligible people within the end of this year. We have been working tirelessly to ensure that everything is ready for the launch- especially in my case with updating our databases, links on the website, and adding all of our new profiles so that it will be ready. Tonight at Madison Social we will be formally launching this effort with support from the local Tallahassee community, including guest bartenders from Domi Station who have generously agreed to donate all of their tips to the Unhoused Humanity fund.

I am extremely excited about this campaign, and can already feel the excitement and momentum it is bringing to such a worthy and important cause. We are on a mission to get these people and families home for the holidays, and I truly believe that with the drive and motivation of our team, as well as the amazing stories of the men, women, and families who are working so hard, that we will be able to make this dream a reality!

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If you would like to learn more, or make a contribution to the Open Door Campaign, please visit http://www.unhousedhumanity.org

Redeye Training

On Thursday Nov 12 we received training on how to be a professional baristas.

Our instructor was Zach.

We learned to make expressos and lattes.  There is a real technique in using just the right amount of ground coffee beans. Also in whipping the milk, it is a very delicate process in creating just the right amount of foam.

The best part of course was drinking our finished product.

It’s a dirty job but someone has to do it.

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