This nice weather has me dreaming about the warm, sunny days that are quickly approaching. It also has me thinking about last summer and wanting to reflect on what I learned throughout the three months I was at the center. As a general intern, I had the opportunity to work on a large variety of tasks and projects. Therefore, I learned a lot in those short three months. I wrote a number of blogs during the summer. I want to look back on a few and reflect on what I learned.

Here is an excerpt from my very first blog:

“My name is Elizabeth Lowe and today is my second day as an intern at The Leadership Center! With my first day taking place in the middle of COLT (leadership training for FFA officers), it was a little hectic and challenging but turned out great in the end. It was an awesome experience and I am super excited for what is to come in the following months.”

So much has changed since I wrote this blog! I was new to TLC and in the process of trying to remember as many names as I could. I am horrible at names, so it may have taken me longer than some. My first day included flipping rooms for the next session of COLT and trying to learn the process of it. It was definitely hectic, but at the same time, pretty fun. I enjoyed jumping right in! I had teamwork experience before this internship, but nothing compares to TLC. Feeling like I was part of the team was a great way to spend my first day.

This is a piece I took from my Food & Friends blog:

“We also did an interview with Pure Nebraska and were asked various questions about the [Summer Food] program. It was really fun to reflect on the program and how it helps the community. The Summer Food Program is a lot more than just providing food. It gives kids a safe environment to eat food, spend time with other kids, and have fun.

Being able to help with the program has been a lot of fun and I have learned a lot about the community and working with kids.”

In case you are unfamiliar with the Summer Food Program, it provides children 18 and under with lunches and fun activities throughout the summer months. It is run through the USDA and is constantly reviewed and is well regulated.

The Summer Food Programs was one of my favorite things about the internship and I learned so much about it during those three months. I didn’t even know something like this existed before starting at the center. It is an amazing program that TLC participates in and deserves to be well-known (everyone that participates- not just us!). I was able to see the difference that it made for kids in the community. This program provides a safe place for kids to have a healthy meal, interact with other kids, have fun, and make meaningful relationships. I loved every day that I was able to help with the program and am so thankful for having the opportunity to be a part of something so awesome.

I wrote a blog about a fundraiser I had the opportunity to plan. Here is an excerpt from it:

“At the beginning of this internship, Abby and I were told that we would have the opportunity to plan and execute our own special projects. The idea of having the freedom to focus on something that I am passionate about really excited me. I wanted to do something that mattered, so I spent a lot of time contemplating what to do. I ran through a lot of different ideas and struggled to choose one but one thing I knew for sure was that whatever I chose, I wanted it to benefit The Summer Food Program one way or another. I finally decided on a Murder Mystery Dinner Party to raise money for the program.”

This was a fun, sometimes a little stressful, experience. When I decided that I wanted to plan a fundraiser, I was not aware of everything that came with it. I admit- I think planning an event is pretty hard. There are so many small details that need planning and cannot be forgotten. I would say I focused on the bigger picture at first and didn’t even realize some of the details I was forgetting. I was lucky to have Micheala and Maile by my side to help and guide me. I learned, again and again, that things do not go as planned. Being flexible and accommodating are really important skills in almost every job- but especially ones that include event planning. I thought this was a really fun experience and I was able to learn about what it takes to plan a fundraiser.

Overall, last summer was a blast. I really don’t know if I could make an accurate list of everything I learned because I’m sure I’d miss something (because I learned sooo much!). It was a great experience and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

–Elizabeth

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