Well, today is the last day. These 10 weeks went by in a blink of an eye. Some days were slower than others, and some days I don’t even think I remembered to eat. I am extremely grateful for my fellowship at Huckleberry House. It has been an amazing summer to work amongst people who are passionate and have a deep appreciation and value for our community. As I touched on in my final presentation, this summer has been an impactful one. My efforts this summer with Safe Place will continue on and grow, youth in crisis will be able to be connected to Huckleberry House. So for a few things I’ve learned, Huck House has taught me that everything revolves around relationships. When we truly take the time to foster relationships and connect, projects and programs are much more successful. Huckleberry House shows what it means to care and make a real impact. In a meeting, our Executive Director, Becky Westerfelt, said, “we deliver, what we tell them we will deliver.” This is simple, but that line caught me. It is one thing to say you’re going to do it. But it is another to be committed to your goals, and do the thing you said you were going to do. It’s important, people are counting on you. Finally the most important piece of information, it is not all about the numbers. If there are less youth in the shelter, is that really a good thing? Are more youth safe or do they not know about us or Safe Place? Even if the numbers are low, someone is being helped. It’s about continuing to extend our front porch to all corners of the city to keep our youth safe.
I want to thank The Columbus Foundation for making this all possible. The experience of being a Columbus Foundation Fellow is like no other. Being able to hear professionals, ask questions, and absorb as much information as possible is a privilege. I am deeply appreciative for all of the other fellows who are wicked smart and empowering. This is a bittersweet end, but if you want to talk about Safe Place, Huck House, youth homelessness, the Foundation and their fellows, you know where to find me. I’ll be right here in the Columbus community.