It feels as if I blinked and the ten weeks passed. To try and sum up my fellowship would be impossible, but if I could use one word to describe my experience it would be nourishing. According to Merriam-Webster, nourish can be defined as “providing the things that are needed for health, growth, etc.” This is fitting in multiple ways; first being that LifeCare’s mission is to nourish the human spirit. Second being the way in which those at LifeCare and the Columbus Foundation have given us fellows an array of opportunities that have cultivated growth and development. Our host organizations and the Columbus Foundation have nourished us; shaping, guiding, and providing us with the tools to be successful leaders in our community. Although not without challenges, the past ten weeks have been filled with enlightenment, discovery, and mainly nourishment as each day brought new opportunities for learning and growth.
As I stated in my final presentation today, reflecting on my time at LifeCare leaves me with four main points, which I feel have been most significant in my fellowship. These skills will prove indispensable as I enter my senior year of college and begin my career.
The first is collaboration. Each and every day, I collaborated with different people to get tasks done. I communicated and worked with multiple people at LifeCare to craft the newsletter, coordinate events, and establish different procedures that can be utilized after my time at Carrie’s. I was challenged to venture out of my comfort zone talking to so many people each day, but realized that it is in collaboration with others that gets the job done. I used and continued to improve skills such as organization, brainstorming, and communication, which were extremely beneficial in collaborating with different people.
The second is job enlargement or the ability to ‘wear multiple hats’, as us fellows would say. All of us concluded that working at a nonprofit requires the ability to perform multiple duties. LifeCare really kept me on my toes, as I was usually given a new task almost every day. I learned the importance of going with the flow, completing one task at a time, being open to new things, and challenging myself to learn from something I may not have expected to learn from.
The third is the importance of volunteers. I was opened up to a whole new world of volunteering and all the different facets that come along with it. LifeCare has shown me the importance of volunteers and how necessary they are in an organization like theirs. Volunteers are truly the heart and center, and how an organization creates and sustains relationships is so important. Volunteers often lead to becoming donors, and donors also are at the heart and center of an organization in a different way. Both are needed for the success of a nonprofit. I was able to learn about and witness the cultivation of relationships with volunteers at LifeCare.
The fourth, final, and most important (in my eyes) is relationships. I found as if the environment at LifeCare nourished and cultivated the ways in which I was able to meet and build all kinds of relationships. From the first day at LifeCare, I found myself engaging with many people. I was able to meet with different staff members from LifeCare, sit with clients at Carrie’s Café for lunch, play bingo with the seniors every 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month, talk to people at meal tastings, welcome volunteers from all over the city, engage with a countless amount of people at coupon distributions, and chat with people at fan distributions. Being able to build relationships with those who benefit from LifeCare’s services was extremely beneficial and really aided in motivating me to complete all my projects to the best of my ability, because I knew in the long run they would benefit these people with whom I encountered daily. In addition, I have been able to get to know and learn from the other fellows who have filled me with motivation and passion to truly make a difference in Columbus and the world.
I feel extremely and truly blessed to have been able to meet so many people throughout the past ten weeks, from all walks of life. I have taken in great amounts of wisdom from a countless amount of people. I feel grateful for all of those at LifeCare, especially my supervisors who have taken me under their wing and have seen the potential in me to complete tasks I wasn’t really sure I could myself. As it’s hard to believe that August 5th is here, and the fellowship is coming to a close, I feel as if my time at LifeCare has filled me with knowledge that will benefit me for the rest of my life. Thank you to LifeCare Alliance and the Columbus Foundation for this opportunity!