I am close to the half way mark in my internship.

This is a perfect time to reflect on my experience as a Centennial Volunteer Ambassador.  I have had the opportunity to be a part of many great things happening in DC.

One of the greatest attributes that have aided in my success as a CVA is the location of my internship.  Being a Baltimore- native, DC was never far out of reach but wasn’t an area that I visited often or took the time to learn any history on.  I remember my first week exploring all the sites and different parks that were in the DC region, I was amazed at how much I didn’t know.  With the completion of my degree in May, I thought that I would never have to take another class again. I was completely wrong.  My work environment has become the biggest teacher.  I am in the center of some America’s greatest stories and history lessons. I often times have to slow down and appreciate all the monuments, memorials, and sites that we have, many of these sites holding on to great historical significance.  Every little bit I learn about DC I enjoy spreading to our volunteers and visitors.

Working in DC has given me some of the best benefits and experiences during my time. That is 5 other different, intelligent, creative, and awesome Centennial Volunteer Ambassadors.  These great people have been my co-workers, cohort, confidants, partners –in-crime, think tank, and most of all friends.  Sometimes I wonder if I didn’t have them so close-by I wouldn’t be able to bare the initial transition that many of us faced. With so many changes and different parks at different levels in their volunteer programs having each other close was a great advantage.  We often were able to freely speak about what each of us were doing at our respective parks, able to notice the needs of each park was different even with their close proximity.  With our closeness we had the ability to help each other with events and projects, increasing support and presence everywhere we go. It is not just the ability to help each other with events and projects that makes us a great group. It’s the ability we have to rely on each other. Everyone is well-aware that are program is new, with all of us working so close; we are able to analyze the program through many perspectives.

Six Heads Are Better Than One!!

CVA_13

DC has provided me with great opportunities for outreach. Being able to communicate the importance of volunteering, diversity, and inclusion in our National Parks has been the highlight of my internship.  I feel like if that’s all I have to show then that’s enough. To be able to reach people and spread the message for our upcoming centennial and the next 100 year will be enough for me.  I was lucky enough to give a speech on the National Mall about my newfound love of National Parks, my experience, diversity, and more.  This was one of my best days being able to represent NPS, SCA, AmeriCorps, People of Color, my family, and myself while being a Centennial Volunteer Ambassador.

I look forward to many other great successes during the duration of my internship.  I hope everyone finds  things that make their internship special.

Ayomide Sekiteri – National Mall & Memorials