By: Nalee Vang, Communications Intern
When I was a little girl in the 4th grade, I attended Glover Elementary school in Akron, OH. I was only 10 years old at the time, and I’m going to be honest here and say that I don’t remember much of my 4th grade years, except for a few memories here and there. One of those very memorable moments was when Pam Ray, Education Specialist at Keep Akron Beautiful, came to my class and presented on the topic of Arbor Day, a national holiday that celebrates tree-planting. We learned so much about how to take care of trees and the different types of trees in local areas all around us.
I distinctly remember the day I brought home my little seedling. I was so excited to plant it in my very own backyard. As soon as I got home from school that day, I didn’t wait for anyone to help me. Instead, I ran outside to my backyard, dug up a hole and set my seedling in place, making sure to pack the soil tightly around it. As I stood up, covered in dirt, a smile grew on my face. I was so proud of that little seedling and I thought to myself, “One day, it’ll be the biggest, baddest tree there ever was!” The very next morning, my little seedling tipped over from the heavy wind the night before. I was devastated.
Fast forward some 14 years later and here I am, writing this blog post from the KAB office itself. I have been the Communications Intern for KAB since January 2015 and, with what feels like the blink of an eye, today is my last day. From the very beginning, I was welcomed in with open arms. Jacqui Flaherty-Ricchiuti, CEO, immediately showed me the ropes and from there, I wrote blog posts, handled the social media and the monthly newsletter with help and supervision from Helen Dauka, Communications and Volunteer Coordinator, and Cindy Pantea, Communications and Office Manager. I am so glad that I was given such big responsibilities from day one because it has given me the chance to learn and grow as a person. Not one day was wasted and I even had the opportunity to tag along with Pam on one of her classroom presentations! It was incredible to hear the Arbor Day presentation and having the chance to re-live the moment when I heard about KAB for the very first time.
Now, I have to be honest (again). I was never really the recycling type and I’m ashamed to say that I was quite the litter bug, but after being a part of the KAB team, I have been so inspired by the volunteers who take the time out of their day to clean our neighborhoods, parks and the community. Also, all the hard work and energy that the KAB staff spends on every project and program is truly amazing. After everything that I have learned here, from great work ethics to litter prevention, I have been inspired to work just as hard as the KAB staff and volunteers to prevent littering and recycle items in an effort to keep Akron beautiful!
I am so grateful for the opportunity to have interned here. Not only have I learned how to reach our volunteers and community members through social media and content, but I have also adapted eco-friendly ways that will help make a positive impact on the natural environment. As I go about my last day here at KAB, I can only strive to be as hard working and inspirational as the KAB staff and hope that my efforts as an intern have helped the organization as much as they have helped me.
Thank you, KAB, for being so kind and welcoming during my time here!
I’ve had the best time being a part of the team!
I’ll miss you all so much!
P.S. – I was able to receive another seedling, Thanks to Pam.
Here’s to hoping this seedling will grow!