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Intern Thoughts

A Junior’s Thoughts

Over the past couple of weeks I had the amazing opportunity to intern at the Monmouth University Community Garden alongside Jessica French. The Garden has taught me several things and helped me develop different skills such as building a website, but what really stood out to me was the amazing community that the Garden has built. And that may be obvious that the community is amazing because it is a community garden, but I don’t think you truly understand how hard it is to build a community that cares and works so hard like this one does. Being an intern I was always amazed about how much work and how much passion all members have for the project, especially our Supervisor Dean Mama. Each person in the committee brings something to the table and loves the garden. My favorite thing about this internship is who I got to work with and meet through working here. I feel that I can take a lot of my short time being here and I am happy that I was able to help in anyway I can because I felt that my efforts were going to such an amazing cause and community!

A Senior’s Thoughts

For students who want a macro level social work experience, interning at the Monmouth University Community could be a wonderful opportunity. Being an intern at the MUCG means communicating with garden members, organizing events and special programs within the community, and applying for various funding sources. In addition, an intern must be creative and really make the internship their own. You can do this by creating different ways to help the garden grow.

As for my impact, I organized a volunteer event for Monmouth students during the Big Event, and met with officials from the Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative of Monmouth County to organize potential educational and volunteer programs for youth in the criminal justice system. I’ve become a contact person for organizations like Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore and Fulfill, the Food Bank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties. I’ve continued previous projects like completing a Cookbook and applying for grants for a much needed shade structure, but I’ve also come up with ideas of my own, like building a wash station for the garden.

This internship gave me the freedom to impact the community in my own resourceful way, as well as the independence to understand what it takes to be a good community organizer. Working alongside Dean Mama isn’t only great for reference benefits, but she serves as a personal role model, too. I got to spend my time in the School of Social Work and out in the community, and I couldn’t think of a better way to end my senior year than opening the garden for the next season later this month.