Going home and Leaving HOME(Stead)

Going home and Leaving HOME(Stead)

It feels like I just arrived in Beatrice last week, yet in a couple days I’ll be back in Boulder. Now that the internship is coming to an end, I feel more comfortable saying that I was pretty nervous about this whole thing! This would be the longest time I’d be away from family, in a place I’d never been. Not only that, but I was also worried that I would not have the necessary skills to succeed in the position. Still, I was prepared to face all of this adversity and give it my best effort!

Immediately upon arrival, I received a warm welcome that put me at ease. They were as excited to have me here, as I was to be here. Everyone at Homestead National Historical Park, from the staff, to other summer interns, to park visitors, truly made me feel welcome and at home. This warm welcoming allowed me to feel more comfortable and really focus on the work I came to do; and I think that showed! I worked as hard as I could here, and the staff acknowledged it. It truly meant a lot because I also knew they could be honest with me if I wasn’t performing well. In turn, this made me more confident in my capabilities and knowledge. Not unlike many people from backgrounds like mine, I tend to carry a sense of imposter syndrome. I feel very fortunate to be able to say that this experience helped me shake some of that off. On top of that, I got to take part in all sorts of awesome things like the park’s annual bird survey!

Homestead National Park on a foggy morning. The photo was taken prior to an annual bird survey.

In addition to learning more about ecology and science, I had many opportunities to step out of my comfort zone and try new things. This ranged from photographing during park events like the annual Fiddle Festival, leading education workshops, and doing interviews with local media. I even got to take part in a live radio interview about the Mosaics and Science and Latino Heritage Internship programs at the park! This was something that I would have definitely struggled to do without this internship. I’m just happy I was able to keep my “um”s down to a minimum!

Latino Heritage Internship Program intern Kristian Enbysk, Homestead superintendent Mark Engler, and myself at a local radio station, Ol’ Red

I’m very grateful to Environment for the Americas, Homestead National Historical Park, and everyone that helped make this internship possible. I won’t be forgetting this any time soon!

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