It’s week ten somehow, some way. Ten weeks have flown by, filled with learning and growth and skunks. While I learned a lot about nonprofit management, marketing, outreach and development, I think what I will carry with me the most from this experience is the people. I came to Ohio Wildlife Center after a long year of political turmoil and disappointment. It’s too easy to become jaded with humanity. My cynicism about the nature of human beings was at an all time high at the beginning of this summer. Throughout my ten weeks here, I’ve been reminded again and again that there are many, many people who want to do good. I believe the good outnumbers the bad. There is nothing cynical about that. So I wanted to say thank you, from the bottom of my heart.
Thank you Kelly for taking a chance on me this summer, providing me this incredible opportunity and living an incredible example of being a mother and a leader simultaneously.
Thank you Judy for always making me laugh with your passion for food trucks, fun facts about interesting auction items and your cheeriness even on the rainiest of Mondays.
Thank you Sherry for your hilarious storytimes, admirable tenacity through tough times and monarch caterpillar expertise.
Thank you Julie for your career advice, wisdom and your steadfast approach to development and growth.
Thank you Stormy for your inexplicable ability to manage chaos, fix broken animals, connect with every single human and animal in a genuine way and drink warm Coke at the same exact time.
Thank you Becca for my little cutie plants that are thriving, letting me assist on duck release/hurricane adventures and your contagious bubbliness.
Thank you Jilly for saying Smeegle the way you do, caring about every living thing energetically and lovingly and being truly GOOD.
There’s so many other people that add so much light and energy to Ohio Wildlife Center that I don’t have space to mention here. Oh yeah– Logan. Thank you, thank you, thank you. For your eternal sassiness, passion for pretty much everything, supply of chocolate and willingness to help every single other employee, volunteer or duck. You work harder and care more than any other person I’ve ever met, that’s no exaggeration. You notice the little things around you, like when I brought a massive tupperware for my ranch and carrots so you bought me a little container or catching a monarch caterpillar to make Sherry’s day or saving my life with a car charger. I think the world would be a much, much better if we were all a little bit more like Logan Oates. I’m trying.
After this summer, I’ll be returning to Ohio State to complete the second half of my undergraduate experience. I still am deciding where I’m going from there but I know my experiences in outreach and development this summer will serve me well in any path I choose to pursue.
Thank you to the Columbus Foundation for providing me with this unique experience, creating space for education during the learning sessions, connecting me with some incredible individuals and last but not least, very good food.
I am very grateful, not cynical anymore, just grateful.