At the start of my time at Consider Biking, I was looking forward to a great experience that would better prepare me for the professional world and introduce me to the non-profit sector. I knew that I would not be able to find a better summer job or internship and that I was extremely lucky to be presented with this professional opportunity. It has without a doubt lived up to my expectations. I barely knew anything about nonprofits before and now I am familiar with most of the processes and details surrounding them. I have met contacts from various nonprofits and other organizations and for the first time feel like a part of the Columbus community. Overall, the fellowship has improved my knowledge of the working world, non-profits, and my professional goals. I expected all of this.
What I did not expect, however, was that it would overwhelmingly affect other aspects of my life. While I previously biked about a mile to class every day and rode leisurely every once in awhile, I was never a dedicated cyclist. My experience at Consider Biking completely changed that. It started as I began to take my bike on the bus to work and then bike 5 miles home every day. At first I did so because I felt obligated – after all, I was working on a campaign to convince people to bike to work. Then I realized how much money I was saving on gas by not using my car to commute. Eventually, every time I had to drive to work, I noticed how much I had grown to dislike driving, with the traffic jams and idle sitting. Now I try to use my bike for as many commutes and errands as possible. I would guess that I have reduced my car usage by at least 75 percent this summer! Furthermore, my honors research project will now be on creating a bike share program in Columbus, something I never would have thought to do before. Hopefully I can take everything I have learned and show others the tremendous benefits of biking, both for themselves and for the environment.
Clearly, this fellowship has influenced me in many ways, and I am very grateful to Consider Biking, the Columbus Foundation, and everyone else involved for giving me this experience. This was a great summer.
-Stacy, Consider Biking