This year I learned more about what it means to be a coordinator, planner, leader, and team member by taking on the role as PICA’s Events Coordinator. My position is through the Provost Sustainability Internship Program (PSI) through the Sustainability Office, where I learn leadership and professional development skills. Working for and with PICA has been a new learning experience for me, coming from a horticulture gardening background to a community focused on agricultural gardening. I am grateful to have worked in such an enjoyable environment, and with a leadership team that holds strong values for community and sustainability. I am extremely thankful for the mentorship and support I have received from Mira along the way.
Some of my favorite moments from this year were from the quarterly workshops. In winter I enjoyed Maiya Evan’s visit to talk about food justice and its affect on our health and well-being. Maiya’s presentation and our discussions helped to contextualize why systemic social justice is a crucial part of sustainability and sustainable food systems. The following workshop connected culture to food where we made delicious Puerto Rican food. Sally Neas’s visit for canning and making bread and cheese were both a great success. We successfully created and installed an insect hotel for pollinators and beneficial insects for the last workshop of the year. I also appreciated the workshops that included garden and compost skills like fruit tree pruning and worm composting since that information is also new to me. I learned a lot this quarter from coordinating workshops!
I really enjoyed working with campus sustainability events this year. Collaboration is so beneficial and often necessary for events and communities. I worked on the planning committee for the annual Earth Summit event, and participated in other campus events like the Annie Leonard lunch, Village Housing Food Justice Fair, Sustainability Spring Fest, Student Environmental Center general gatherings, and the Generation Waking Up training. It was a great experience to coordinate with other organizations, get to know other organizers and sustainability interns, represent PICA on campus, and be apart of a larger sustainability movement.
My hope is that my experience working with PICA has helped to invite more people into the community and to provide resources, new perspectives, skills and empowerment to others. It was exciting to see more folks visiting and supporting PICA through events. I thank all those that helped me along the way. You all keep this community thriving, so shine on! I encourage everyone to find ways to be apart of the movement for a sustainable future. Together we can transform the world as it is, and learn from each other along the way.