Ten days later and I still can’t believe I’m here. Even though it didn’t start that long ago, ever since our family vacation to DC three summers ago, I’ve dreamed about living and working in the capital. I fell in love with its richness, history, activity, and the east coast. When I came across the opportunity for a non-profit internship and summer classes in Washington, I knew that was how I wanted to spend my summer. And I am so glad that I applied and God sent me here!
I’m staying at the lovely George Washington University, where just down the street, you can see the Lincoln Memorial all lit up at night! I’m taking two classes in Arlington, VA (a quick Metro ride away) at George Mason University. My political theory professor is a professor at Georgetown, which most of you know was high on my colleges list, so it’s seriously like a dream come true that I’m getting a little taste of Georgetown (even though I go to the best university out there, go Illini)! He is so intelligent and quirky and passionate about what he teaches, I really like how he makes us think in that class.
I am interning in the Development department of Martha’s Table. Martha’s Table is a non-profit in DC that’s 30 years old and is striving to break the cycle of poverty in its community through its many food program services, clothing centers, and educational programs from ‘cradle to career.’ It’s a $4 million cash organization (with $2 million in food/clothing/furniture donations additionally) and was named after Martha from the Bible, who opened up her home and fed Jesus and his disciples when they came. It’s one of the most well-known organizations in DC, with big-name donors and 10,000 volunteers a year. I absolutely love it. Walking through its buildings, all colorful and organized, decorated with artwork from the kids and filled with the sounds of knives on the cutting board from volunteers chopping up fresh vegetables. I am in the administrative building, but I love how just below me all the action is happening. Kids are running around, clothes are being donated, meals are being packed to be brought into the inner-city. I am doing data entries, working within their donor database with deposits, donor relations, and will get my hand into some volunteer coordination, too. As an accounting major, I’m trying to see as much of the financials as they will let me! I just finished my first week, and I love it so much. I love getting to see the behind the scenes of a non-profit, all that happens financially in order to be able to provide the programs it does. It’s a huge learning experience, and I will hang on to every tid bit I can. Plus, my supervisor is really sweet and likes to challenge me, which I really appreciate. I get the fuzzes just thinking about how happy and lucky I am to be there! They really know how to run a non-profit!
I’ve made a “DC Bucket List” with about 35 items on it to do before I leave in August. I’ve been trying to make a dent in it whenever I can. It’s got museums, monuments, day trips, famous restaurants… Lots to do! So far I’ve checked off: the Newseum, Museum of Natural History, seeing a show at the Kennedy Center (saw the National Symphony Orchestra for free, it was great!), Chinatown (went with a girl from China who ordered her favorites for us), and ate lunch at Farragut Square on “food truck friday,” where about 20 food trucks surround the park of all different cuisines. I tried Vietnamese for the first time!
It’s been fun to start cooking on my own. I really love going through the grocery store and picking up stuff, it’s neat to see all there really is! I look forward to cooking every night, although we have a pretty full schedule between class and internships and project meetings. I won’t complain though, I’d like to get everything out of this summer that I can! Once in a lifetime.
I’ll try to post as cool things happen, I know I’m going to want to look back and relive this summer in the future! :] Feeling SO BLESSED to be here!