As I get ready for my last “first day of school” on Wednesday, I can’t help but take a moment to reflect on the amazing journey I took this summer with the Columbus Foundation and Ohio Designer Craftsmen. I started this fellowship knowing virtually nothing about the non-profit sector in Columbus, and having limited knowledge of the skills, connections, and surprises that come when one works in this varied and challenging field. Now, after weeks of works, projects completed, learning sessions attended, and the presentation given, I can truly say that I have taken away so much this summer, and wholeheartedly believe that my work has both helped me polish skills that I already possessed and learn new skills and information that will help me as I finish graduate school and enter the non-profit sphere as an eager young professional. I am so inspired by everyone I met through the Columbus Foundation, including the other fellows, the guests who shared their work and passions with us, my co-workers at the Ohio Craft Museum, the Columbus Foundation staff, and – of course – my talented and wonderful campers and helpers at Young Masters Summer Camp.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, grad school is great, but it can really burn you out. At the end of the last school year, I was definitely feeling the burn and was more focused on the “what” I was studying and doing rather than the “why.” All of the people who shared their passions this summer played a part in rekindling my fire for “why” – why the arts matter in our world, why people need creative outlets, why education is so important for people of all ages, why we need to step up and fight for the things we believe in, and why those who CARE will be the ones who can really make a difference in our world. I can’t wait to keep asking those important questions and fight for the things I believe in. Thanks for an amazing summer!