In conclusion…

Hello again Fellows and friends,

I’ve spent a good deal of time these past few weeks considering how I can best sum up, describe, and in some ways exhibit the work I have been doing during the course of this Fellowship. The majority of my work has revolved around exhibiting, though I had not considered until recently how I myself would put together such a presentation. In the past ten weeks I have I done the following:

• Researched and established a target audience

• Comprised a master list of 3000+ organizations, having some kind of connection to Ecosystem services.

• Reached out to 2,000 + academic institutions, private corporations, nonprofit organizations, think tanks, and engineers.

• Spoken directly or through voicemail to 300+ individuals.

• Solicited sponsorships and exhibits from organizations spread from Kyoto, Japan to Dubai, UAE, to Columbus, Ohio to Seattle, Washington.

• Planned a corporate luncheon.

There is always more to do, and there will be plenty more for whoever fills my place at the end of this week. I don’t want to write too much in this blog post, as much of what I would end up saying is what I intend on having to show at the Foundation’s luncheon this Friday. Of course there is much that I could go into now; giving a how-to guide for phone call recruiting, a previously promised list of Ecosystem services, why they’re important and what you can do to protect them, or showcasing the evidence of my work on a luncheon that MORPC’s EcoSummit team held for local engineering companies a few weeks ago. But I have all of those in my “display” or “presentation” or “booklet” or whatever else we’d like to call it for the end of this week, and I’ve never been one for spoilers. So instead I’ll just say this: I am so incredibly grateful for this experience.

I will be graduating at the end of this year and find myself constantly faced with the daunting (even terrifying) prospect of “what next?” Graduate school eventually, but having been a full-time student for the past sixteen years, I admit I would like to spend some time away from the world of academia, discovering who I am without it. Yet being a philosophy major, I have no designated career path in front of me that I must simply follow (hurrah for impracticality!) I must choose some path and begin to walk down it. Or at least towards it. I would be lying if I said that these worries have been all but vanquished. They are still omnipresent, and loom nearer and nearer the closer I get to departing for school (which is two days after this Fellowship is over.) Yet this Fellowship has quelled some of my fears about the future, even to the point of making me, dare I say, excited for it. I have learned so much about nonprofit work (which could easily be applied to work in the private sector) both through my hands on experience at MORPC and the learning sessions at The Columbus Foundation, as well as the wealth of knowledge I have gained on ecosystem services, urban planning, energy conservation, and sustainable design both through my own work and research and by having the opportunity to sit in on meetings and workshops here at MORPC. All I can say is thank you to The Columbus Foundation for giving me this incredible opportunity and to the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission for making it so special. I will be truly remiss to leave it.


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