The Last Week

Last week was my final week of my internship for the summer. This also means, this is my final blog post of the summer. This summer and internship really flew by. It seemed as though I blinked and July was gone. I couldn’t believe that last week was the final week I’d be making my way into the office, going to meetings, and helping to educate the public on how to be more environmentally conscious. I’ve learned so much from this experience. But the main take away I got from this experience was how to take on projects and make them into my own. Working at a small non-profit , I got to experience taking a leadership role in creating passion projects and make it into my own. I was able to work on two projects: Mobilize U and an anti-straw campaign. With these projects I did research on how these projects would benefit the parties involved.

When it came to the Mobilize U, I created a tool-kit for students at Universities to use in order to educate their peers. This includes tabling at school and giving “swag” to entice people to make a change in their lives to benefit our planet. Not only did I create the tool-kit, I also made a sticker that we plan to send to Universities to give out when students do table. It is well known that young people are the one’s that tend to take charge on a college campus when looking for a change. Earth Day Network originally had this project geared towards faculty educating about being sustainable on campus. However, I pitched to the staff that it would be beneficial to encourage the students to take charge because it is ultimately their campus that they are living on, they should take charge to change and become more sustainable. They loved the idea!

As for the anti-straw campaign. I did research to encourage the restaurants in the area to stop using straws, or only give upon request. This meant me not only researching the benefits, but also going and talking to the companies themselves. I had to tell them the pros and cons of going straw free. This was a very difficult task, however, I’ve never felt so accomplished when I got a restaurant to agree to stop using straws or use biodegradable or just only giving straws upon request. I would often come back to the restaurant to check and see if they were following through and many of them did. It was so exciting to see those restaurants continue to make a difference.

Overall, this internship has been such an amazing experience. I’m so happy the Dickinson was able to give me the opportunity to be across the country for the summer and work on things I am truly interested in and excited to help with. This wouldn’t have been possible without the help of the Dickinson Grant scholarship that they school offers. I’m very happy and excited for my next adventures to take place.

Whistleblowers

This week was very interesting! Monday July 30th is a day seen as National Whistleblowers Day. Earth Day sent me and one other intern to a conference on Capitol Hill to hear what they had to say about whistleblowing today and how it relates to wildlife conservation and environmental justice. A lot of this conference was speaking to people that have blown the whistle on really big issues that have taken place. Legally a lot about the cases were not allowed to be spoken about. However, when it came to wildlife conservation and environmental justice, the speakers spoke to the idea of encouraging more whistleblowers into this field. This was something that should be spoken of more, however, many don’t think to speak out against it because it primarily takes place outside the US. However, the one’s profiting off of this industry is global, and it should not be allowed.

This conference was very eye-opening. I also was able to sit next to two very interesting people. One man I was sitting with is a member of Canadian Parliament. The other is a former attorney for the Department of Justice working specifically with wildlife conservation. I was even able to get the business John Webb, the attorney from the Department of Justice. Both of these men were very interesting and happy to speak of their jobs and loved to hear about my studies as well. Overall, this conference was very captivating.

It’s meetings like these that make me remember how lucky I am to have the opportunity to have this internship. None of this would have been possible without the help of Dickinson’s grant scholarship. Because I was able to apply and was granted a scholarship I am able to be part of such fascinating meetings and conferences as well as build my skills that will help me later in any job I’d like to have later in life. This has truly been a great summer with a great¬† organization. I’m sad to think that I only have one more week. Well,¬† until next week, for my last blog post!