Week 8 was amazing for many reasons.
First, as only 2 weeks are left in my fellowship, I’ve been reflecting on what a great experience I’ve been given. At the beginning of this summer and fellowship, I didn’t know what to expect and I’ve learned so much. Before working at CRIS (Community Refugee & Immigration Services), I didn’t even know the biggest refugee population in Columbus (Bhutanese) or the process of helping a family or individual resettle in the United States. Sadly, I’ve also become relatively familiar with most of the tragedies plaguing the people of the world right now. More than a few times, I’ve been taken aback by the horrors and crimes committed against the millions of refugees and the realization of how people in those situations must feel immediately humbled me.
Secondly, on Friday the other Columbus Foundation Fellows and I had our last learning session and luncheon at the Columbus Foundation. This learning session was in conjunction with the Boys & Girls Club (of Columbus) Fellows from this summer. The Columbus Foundation and the Boys & Girls Club are closely connected and the mission of the Boy & Girls Club, as a nonprofit, is related to the Columbus Foundation Summer Fellowship goal of cultivating nonprofit leadership.
I enjoyed this learning session the most, not only because we had Chipotle catered (!!), but because the lessons were focused on reflecting on our values, personal missions, and our overall similarities. The supervisor of the Boys & Girls Club Fellows asked us to identify our values and see if they align with what we felt our personal missions are. As I silently reflected, only one true mission came to mind. I thought, “To help people who may not be able to help themselves.” As simply as that. I have a variety of interests when it comes to careers, but if I get tired or discouraged, all I need to do is to ask myself if I am living with my values and purpose.
Additionally, we had a great presentation on the history of new Americans in Columbus, which was very relevant to my summer project. I learned several new facts about Columbus, such as at one point our city was 1/3 foreign born! That fact really puts current politics into perspective and disproves the possible phobia of anyone foreign, like refugees and immigrants. It was awesome to see the difference in Columbus from 200 years ago to now. There are a lot more buildings and people. Here is some background on the history of Columbus if you’re interested.
Overall, I loved seeing and meeting all of the young fellows from both programs because I felt like I was in the presence of young, motivated future leaders. That in itself is truly inspiring. I now ask myself, “What am I doing every day to reach my goals?” How about you, reader? Are you living your true purpose and mission in life? Some people may know the answer to this, but it’s okay if you don’t know yet. Just think about what you value in life and how you can live every day with those values.
On that note, I will see you for my final blog post!