From the beginning of our two-week course and all through the duration of my internship at the NAACP Washington Bureau, I have been learning about myself and also taking lessons from those around me. I can honestly say that I have grown as a person and I feel like I could not have asked for a more rewarding or personally fulfilling summer than this one, which is unfortunately coming to an end soon. One of the main things that I have learned this summer with regard to leadership is that there is no single perfect way to be a leader. Every person has his or her own personal style, and I have satisfaction in knowing that it takes time to develop one’s individual leadership style. At one point I thought that style came automatically and without effort, but now I accept that it is ok if I do not have all the answers right now.
Nearing the End: I have had an absolutely amazing and life-changing time throughout this internship. This completely solidified my desire to work in a place or organization that promotes community, rather than self-gain. I was surrounded by such inspiring people, at first I did not think about it, but the further into the internship I got, the more I realized that it wasn’t coincidence. These people work at Boys and Girls Clubs because they have a heart for children and simply want to help. I realized I got along with them so well and formed such good relationships because their passion and motivations align with my own.
Moving forward with Boys and Girls Club: First of all, I am working at my internship for one more week. I told them since I live in the area I would be happy to continue for some extra time. There is still so much to do for the Congressional Breakfast, so Abe will really appreciate my help, and I am going to a cool meeting with Marisel next week, so I think it will definitely be worth it. I am also going to go back to DC for the Congressional Breakfast in September (as long as my professors will let me miss class!)
Second, I talked to Lorene from my office who is the Government Relations Director for the Virginia State Alliance, so she knows the CEO of the club in Williamsburg. When I asked her if she knew him, she automatically asked me if I wanted her to see if he would give me a job! I do not know if they will have any available positions for me, but I will definitely get involved on a volunteer capacity at least.
Emerging into the afternoon sunlight, I stepped off of the metro escalator into Crystal City. With my heavy work bag in one hand and my cell phone in the other, I continued to chat away with my cousin, Steve. In mid-sentence, I literally stopped. What? He repeated his sentence again: “You will be back in Williamsburg in just a few weeks.” It literally took me a minute or two to process this information. He was right. I was Williamsburg bound in just a matter of weeks. No more metro. No more Buchanan. No more W&M DC Office. No more Global Playground.
This moment marked a key realization for me. I never really thought that I was going to leave DC. Subconsciously, I thought that I had graduated and was working in the real world. The Buchanan was my home now, and the staff at W&M DC office and Global Playground was my family. At that moment, I realized I did not want to leave. All of those people who I have met and all of my experiences have carved out a special place for DC in my heart.
I technically never have to leave. I could drop out of school and find an apartment with my nonexistent salary. Then I could beg the W&M DC office to let me continue to work in their office as well as ask Global Playgrounds to allow me to continue my work. However, this is not the best option, well for me at least. I love William & Mary with every bone in my body. As Doug once said, I bleed green and gold. Over the past two years, William & Mary has become my home in every way possible, allowing me to grow and define who I truly am. Talking about graduation has been a sore subject for me. I actually used to physically cringe at the thought. I could not imagine life without classes in Wren, the Grind, the OCES lounge, the Sunken Gardens, or even SWEM. Yet, this Institute has shown me what life could be like outside the grassy laws of William & Mary. It is not so scary after all.