I feel that I made a meaningful contribution to my workplace by making Certificates of Recognition and presenting them at events/ attending events. Although I’ve always loved making certs, at first I thought it was just busy work, just a folder that we made because people asked for them. I didn’t realize that they actually mean a lot to the people that receive them. Normally we (the interns) prepare the certificates and then Diamond, Lucero or Francine take them to an event and present them. When they come back they tell us that everyone really enjoyed the certificates and then the cycle repeats again. This week for the first time I was able to not only go to an event, but present the certificates on behalf of Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher. Ana and I attended the Montgomery Adult School Awards Ceremony for graduates that received scholarships to help them continue on to higher education. This was our first event without a field representative or a more experienced intern to guide us. We actually stood up and spoke in front of everyone. We only spoke for about a minute each, but it was a new experience being able to write and practice what we we’re going to say and how we tried to use the same tone as Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher. It was really cool to see how proud the scholarship recipients were of their certificates. We could see first hand that the certs that only take us a few minutes to make had a big impact on them. I think it’s one thing to have someone tell you that you did something good or that you achieved your goals, but it’s so much more meaningful when you have an actual folder with the California state seal on it with your name. Also on the back of the certificates we put a sticker that says the recipient of the certificate can call to schedule an appointment to take a picture with their certificate and the Assemblywoman, and a few days ago we actually had someone call that wanted to come in for a photo. So that was really cool to see the impact we had with our certificates. And not only that but these certificates are helping Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher connect and interact with her constituents, which is another really meaningful thing.
Last week we attended our first event on behalf of Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, we went to Spirit of the Barrio hosted by Family Health Centers. It was very interesting and they had really good food. We were going to have to take the trolley to Barrio Logan but our fellow intern Rocelle was able to pick us up. We were able to check in under Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher’s name (like we were her people)! And when we sat down at our assigned table and called out the Assemblywoman’s name to recognize her we all were able to stand up and wave. The food was really good we had tamales and beans and rice, but some guy took our bag of tamales at the end so we couldn’t take them with us. The Spirit of the Barrio event happens once every couple months and it’s a discussion about topics that affect San Diego. This event was about the border and undocumented immigrants. The discussion was really interesting and there were a lot of diverse perspectives on the panel. There were five panelists, the San Diego Police Department chief, a Border Patrol agent, Paula Avila from the Chamber of Commerce, Maya a journalist that deals with all things San Diego and Dulce, who has been an undocumented immigrant for 30 years. The discussion got a little heated because there were a lot of opposing views. They also allowed for questions from the audience and a man from the organization Border Angels asked the Border Patrol agent why he wouldn’t let kids hug their deported parents in Friendship Park. It was really interesting to me and I feel like I learned a lot, I would love to go to another event like this because I gained a new perspective on border issues. Some of my takeaways are from the last question the MC asked. “What can we do as a community to make things better?” Their answers were: 1) For law enforcement to increase transparency (for example: body cameras). 2) For more people to pay attention to what happens in immigration courts and the injustices that occur there. 3) Forums like Spirit of the Barrio, where people can talk about the issue, because it’s harder to hate in person. 4) Stop feeding the rhetoric from both sides of the issue, focus on facts to base your opinion off of.
Working with Ana, Zamira, and Parker I’ve learned just as much from them as I have from my mentors and the other adults I work with. Ana, when she gets tired of being around the same people she always makes sure to have some alone time by working separately from us and she's also learned that she needs to go outside during the day or else after lunch she gets really tired. She really knows what she needs to help her get through the day and I hope to develop that skill so that I’m either not as irritated or tired as the day goes on. Also everyone around me like Diamond, Lucero and Francine are really flexible because normally they have two other team members working here, Judy and Andy, and they have both been out since before we got here. And they’ve all done a really amazing job of re adjusting to the extra workload and still having a positive attitude, they don’t ever complain or say that it can’t be done they all just work really hard to make sure everything gets done. I really would like to be as flexible as them because I feel like I get into a headspace where I only think that I have to do the things that I was originally planning to do. So I think being more flexible would help me be able to be a better colleague.
There are a lot of things that I find really interesting about my internship site, but the thing that I would say strikes me the most is how mentor friendly the office is. There are only three offices in the Assemblywoman’s area, one goes to her, one to Ms. Francine (my mentor) and the last private office space goes to interns. We get 2 desks and 2 computers and there is an intern wall where we all have our profiles up, the profile consists of a picture and a few things about ourselves like our interests, what school we go to and our birthday. Also in the intern office are pink pieces of paper that have phrases that they love to hear and that we shouldn’t be afraid to say, a few are: “What can I help with?”, “I’m a little nervous. Can I run through this with you?”, “Can I join you for that event?”, and “I have an idea.”. All of the people that work here are really nice to interns and they told us all day on our first day to not be afraid to ask for help or ask questions. I feel really comfortable approaching them, and I feel like I can ask them for help if I need it and I think it’s really cool how they don’t treat us like high school students. We’re allowed to have our own logins to the computer and also able to answer the phones and respond to letters. Also I didn’t think I would learn so much during internship, I thought it would just be busy work, or office work and then I would just do my internship project. But I’ve actually learned a lot in just the past few days about district lines and the type of issues that affect the 80th district. But also it’s funny because fun fact: I’ve learned that I don’t even live in Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher’s district, and High Tech High Chula Vista is in the 79th district which is Dr. Shirley Weber’s district.
Some non academic skills I have that I can apply to my site are reflection, communication and my quality control. Because I’m so used to being at High Tech and reflecting about every single thing we do, I think it has just become something I do out of habit. I find myself reflecting on how my day was at school, my volleyball practice, my weekend, so I’m sure I’ll be constantly reflecting on the work I do at my internship and what I need to change so I can improve it or make it better. Communication is a staple in my household because my mom is always wanting for me to communicate with her about my plans for the day, where I am, what I’m doing, etc. I also have learned communication skills by being at school and doing so much group work. Quality control for me means doing quality work that I am proud of, what feels like my best work to me, not just what meets the requirements. I can apply these three skills to my internship by reflecting on the work I do everyday and knowing how I can do better the next, communicating with my mentor about what I need from her and also communicating with my fellow interns if we are working together or if I have any questions, and I can continue to produce quality work by knowing that my work isn’t just for my teachers anymore, its for real life professionals and so I know that it has to be my absolute best work to make a good impression. I want to improve on these skills because I think they are important to the success of my internship and also I believe these are good skills to have in college. During interview day I interviewed with Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher’s assistant, and I asked her what the interns typically do and she told me that she had heard that the interns all usually work together to research and pitch a bill to the Assemblywoman. That project sounds really cool because I think I would learn a lot. The skills that I have already would help me during this project because I can reflect on what kind of bill is important and what would be the best problem to attempt to fix with this bill and also what is the best way to go about it. My communication skills can help me to work with my fellow interns during this project and my want to do high quality work will improve so much more because I know with a legislative bill, it wouldn’t just be affecting me, it would affect so many other people.
So far my only plan for my future is college, I’m not sure where I want to go to college but I do think I want to go to a small liberal arts school. I’m not sure what I want to do as a career after college but I have a lot of interests, I’m considering something in the education or law area. I used to want to do something in the STEM field but I’ve changed my mind. I don’t really have a specific “big dream” in mind, I would just like to be successful and be happy with what I’m doing in my work. Even though I’m not sure want I want to do I would like to have an impact on the community that I’m living in, whether it be knowing everyone that is around me or being able to help a community through the work that I do. I think some areas that I need to work on in life is being motivated. Recently I’ve been feeling like I’m just going through the motions, I don’t really care about the work I’m doing. I’m just trying to get through the year, because this has been a really tiring year and since we’re so close to the end of it I just want it to be over already so I think I need to work on getting myself motivated to try to push through and do good work for the rest of the year. I’m feeling nervous but excited going into my internship. I’m nervous because I’ve never had a job or spent a long time in a professional space. So I’m nervous that it will take me awhile to get the hang of it and to not be intimidated by my surroundings. I’m excited because internship will be a nice change of scenery from school and I know that I will have at least two of my fellow students with me so that’s comforting that I won’t be alone. I’m also really excited because I’ve heard in the past interns with Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher got to research and create a bill and then pitch it to her, which sounds really cool and like something would be really interested in. So I’m hoping that I’m able to do that project over the month of May.