This experience has been quite a long trek. But the end is very close. Since my last post, I was able to attend the Summit on Women and Girls. This event was held at TCC, for women in the community, as well as girls aged 7th-12th. From the speakers, to the workshops, the entire event was amazing.
Unlike some others in my internship cohort, my journey with Girls on the Run is not over whenever I take my final exam. I still have to do our actual 5k on May 13th. I feel the nervousness come up whenever I work on organizing things for Volunteers, or go to a committee meeting. The day is getting closer, the finish line is in site. I was able to read some letters that our girls wrote to sponsors who support our chapter, and I think they explain the need we are filling.
From this experience, I have taken away experiences I wouldn’t have received anywhere else; for instance, the ability to sit on a committee, and have my opinion heard; also, the innumerable amount of events I was able to attend, and gain new perspectives on the field of social entrepreneurship. Most notably, I was able to learn the ins and outs of volunteer management coordination. This accumulation of new knowledge will stay with me throughout my career. I don’t see it as reaching a finish line; I’ve only started warming up for whatever lies next.
While I may be tired, and feel like I cannot go on, I want to give a special shoutout to all of the exceptional women I have had the pleasure of meeting this semester. I feel so empowered every time I get to see the strong, hard-working women in my cohort and organization. These ladies and women have the determination to make a difference, and they are an inspiration to me.
Since February, I have been able to attend and experience many events and meetings that have been transformational, from a student standpoint.
On February 28th, I was able to attend the Women in Leadership conference #WIL2017.
On March 9th, I attended my first 5k Program Committee meeting, officially participating as the Volunteer Management Coordinator for our Spring 5k.
On March 22nd, I was able to celebrate my advisor, Ericka McKibbin, on being awarded one of 2017’s Trailblazing Women in our Community, through #TCCswomenshistorymonth.
And On March 30th, I attended both the Nonprofit Enterprise and Social Innovation Summit (#NESI) hosted by INIE (s/o SEI interns!), and my second 5k Committee Program meeting.
All in all, this I’ve been surrounded by inspiration and celebration in accordance with all of the hard work the GOTR team has been doing to prepare for our 5k. In fact, if you’re interested in volunteering, e-mail me (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more info. We’re almost to the end!
There are a lot of things runners practice besides the sport itself: staying hydrated, getting good rest, and staying focused. Any runner who has hit a high, subsequently followed by a slump, knows that when you don’t feel well, you don’t perform well. Taking care of oneself is important to being a runner, and staying on top of our game. This is also true in an internship.
I have found that it takes a great balancing act to perform to the best of our abilities. So far, I have been working closely with Ericka McKibbin to get ready for upcoming events. We have the Women in Leadership conference happening next week, where I will be tabling the event and recruiting local volunteers. Additionally, we’ve been getting documents ready for our official season kick off, which started this week!
My scope of leadership roles in my internship has narrowed, to where I will be joining the 5k committee. I will be assisting with planning and arranging volunteers for our big event. I am excited, but also nervous. However, I don’t see it as daunting, due to all of the fun, interactive elements of my internship. For instance, here’s a picture from the FSU Women’s Basketball Game. We spent the night honoring our GOTR volunteers, thanks to the amazing people at Comcast who set us up in the box seats! It was an amazing night, and I’m happy to say I feel like I’ve caught my stride.
I feel like I can’t catch my breath sometimes. I’m constantly going from place to place: school to work to school to home to club meeting to dinner to study. I’m trying to tackle everything on my agenda for the day, and I feel my chest rising and falling, to the point where everything gets jumbled, and unfocused. I feel like I can’t make it; when suddenly- I did it. I finished the week, I submitted all my assignments, I sit down and I take it all in.
“Should I even apply to the internship…why would they want ME?” “I can’t take on another responsibility…I have so much going on..” “What if I let them down?” These are the thoughts that race through my mind as I sprint from place to place. The pressure to succeed in college can seem overwhelming between all of the things that you have to juggle. Beyond that, the pressure on students across the country to “get it right” is at an all time high. It’s a stage where I am told to get a job right after graduating, yet I struggle to accomplish my goals for today. How do I let strive for my long term ones? It is the little victories that I have to celebrate day-to-day that help me realize how far I’ve come, and how far I can keep going.
This is where I am excited to announce that I am working with a program that helps local girls overcome these same obstacles. Girls on the Run of the Big Bend believes in empowering young girls to believe they can accomplish anything they set their minds to. The program is based around encouraging young girls to set their eyes on a goal (completing a 5k) while lifting themselves, and the girls around them up. Ultimately, it’s instilling in them values about self-confidence, determination and intentional friendships with other girls. The program can seem intimidating for those, like myself, who are not experienced runners. However, the goal is not to train the next generation of fitness gurus, but to train the next generation of strong girls to believe in themselves. I’m excited for this opportunity, as I will be working closely with program coordinators, participating in fundraising events, recruiting volunteers, as well as leading an event myself. I can see that this will challenge me. My hope is to see the achievement I have made at the end of this race, and gain a better understanding of this wonderful community.
Here’s a photo of me at this weekend’s find your fitness event 1/29. Katherine Walker (right) and I were getting the word out about girls on the run and recruiting volunteers. It was very successful!
FSU Social Entrepreneurship & Innovation interns blog about their experiences.