The Road to Unexpected Change

I intended to get my final blog post up on August 4 – my final day at The Center for Balanced Living. However, with many goodbyes to say and good luck conversations with those who I have worked alongside for the past ten weeks, I didn’t want to place this task before these relationships.

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So then I intended to get this blog post up yesterday on August 5 – my final day as a Summer Fellow where we each presented in front of our co-workers, supervisors, Summer Fellowship advisors, a few selection committee members and other staff members from The Columbus Foundation.

But here I am, on August 6 (I am obviously having a hard time letting go (:) and can no longer call myself a Summer Fellow. As sad as that sounds and as sad as I am that this summer rapidly flew by, yesterday was as sweet as an ending as it could be. Waking up this morning in the period between that send-off and life’s next adventures, I am feeling thankful, confident and excited with a hefty dose of nostalgia.

We sat in the room where it all began but this time, the introductions between us fellows turned into introductions between us and leaders at their nonprofits as well as those at The Columbus Foundation who took time out of their day to listen to our summer journey. Being able to watch and laugh with (I may be referring to Demi and Kathleen’s selfies) these ladies as they shared their growth and achievements made me so thankful to have been surrounded by brilliant, hard working and encouraging women. This may sound overly cheesy but I was truly proud of each fellow, especially as I had a bit more insight on the challenges they faced and their day-to-day success stories from our learning sessions and excursions together.

In my presentation, I discussed a bit of history from the date I learned that I made it to the “second round”, my interview in January and the day when I found out I had been selected.   Looking back, I can only laugh at myself who thought I had a good grasp on what I wanted to do with my life after graduating from Otterbein. The 19th slide on my Pecha Kucha was dedicated to my (still pending) next step ahead. I am completing my majors in Health Communication and Public Relations but am highly considering getting my master’s in dietetics to become a registered dietitian.

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If you told me that ten weeks ago, I wouldn’t have believed you. But ten action-packed weeks of personal and professional growth and new friends and mentors can truly change a person. Thank you to The Columbus Foundation and The Center for Balanced Living for instilling this change in me! This summer has easily been one of the best experiences of my life and the nonprofit sector and Columbus have stole my heart yet again.

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