In this internship, I had space to grow, discuss, learn, and listen. Although it may not sound like much, this opportunity is not always provided. Especially in a society where people are so conditioned to “ stay in their lane.” Bryant H. McGill once said, “ Whatever makes you uncomfortable is your biggest opportunity for growth.” Through the conversations we had in our workshops and article discussions about Justice, Bias, Stereotypes, identity, diversity, history of policing, and etc.… I can vouch for that. I would not trade the perspective and knowledge I now have even though there are times where reality is not as great as one would hope it to be, because awareness is an essential part of creating change.
In addition to that, I also learned to cherish the qualities and soft skills I have because it is not always something that can be learned, and it is uniquely mine. I have grown to love aspects that I use to hate about myself, and that in itself is empowering. I have the internship to thank for that because it taught me how to take feedback and vice versa, the benefits of reflecting, and the power of communication in relationships. I have learned that one of my weaknesses is setting boundaries, and through reading Emergent Strategy, which is one of our tasks, I learned many ways on how to do that and the perspective that can support me in taking those actions.
Speaking of support, I was able to explore more of my interest in social work through the encouragement of finding a mentor in that field to learn from. My mentors taught me that there is more than one way for me to get where I want to be in life, to ask a lot of questions, aim to be a lifelong learner, the importance of self-care, and to be flexible with myself. Talking with them was great and an experience I probably would not have had if it were not for the internship. My new mentors have given me a lot of support and offered to continue to answer my questions in the future.
Overall I have learned so much more about myself in this internship than I ever have in such a short period. In six weeks, I became more aware of the world, myself, and what my passions are. The projects, workshops, and tasks we did all lead to personal growth, and I am genuinely grateful for that.