Hey, everyone! Katy here.
This week flew by for me and as I sit at my desk on the Friday afternoon of my 4th week working at CRIS, I am reflecting on how quickly time has gone by during this internship.
I started in the beginning of June and tomorrow is July. I feel like I have done so much, but also feel like almost no time has passed. Recently I’ve been recognizing how valuable this fellowship experience has been and continues to be for me.
On Tuesday of this week, we had our 2nd Fellows Learning Session at the Columbus Foundation about leadership. Our summer fellowship program directors brought in amazing people to sit on a panel for us to ask questions. Seeing them up there and listening to their wisdom about navigating nonlinear career paths and advancing in their fields was life-changing.
I feel so inspired by their stories and the way they live their lives for their passions and dedication to the nonprofit field.
Similarly, after 4 weeks at CRIS (Community Refugee & Immigration Services), I am able to reflect on what I’ve experienced in my workplace. I am not exaggerating when I say my coworkers are some of the most passionate and caring people I have ever encountered in my life. Working at a nonprofit means you care so much about a certain cause that you want to spend every day of your life dedicated to that cause. That dedication is so up-lifting. Most of the employees at CRIS would probably laugh at me if I ever told them they were “inspiring,” but I speak the truth.
Even more so, the refugees I’ve have the chance to interact with also inspire me in a different way. I am inspired by the courage they have to leave their homes behind and begin a new life in a brand new country, despite possibly not knowing English. One of the biggest challenges of refugees, especially older individuals, in the United States is not being able to speak English. I cannot imagine living and working in a place where I couldn’t communicate with the people surrounding me. That takes courage.
My overall concluding reflection at the end of week 4 is that I am so grateful for the chance to work and learn about the refugee community at CRIS, and learn valuable leadership skills through the Columbus Foundation. When I applied for this Fellowship, I didn’t know what to expect, but I am so glad I did.