I first joined Passion Impact my sophomore year. It was the end of Summer 2020, the August lull had completely taken over, I was about to head off to a sleepy cabin on the Makenzie River with my family for a last weekend of relaxation before starting school. Oh, and also, we were five months into a global pandemic.
Through the pandemic, there were times I was unmotivated, lethargic, and bored. Everyone felt this way at one point or another, but towards the end of August, I decided it was time to get involved again. Summer is meant to be lazy and relaxing, but I was determined to not let myself continue in the cycle of laziness once the school year started. So I applied for Passion Impact’s VEP (Volunteer Event Program,) and when I got the position, I was excited, but didn’t know quite what to expect.
Now, as a summer intern for Passion Impact, and a future committee leader, I look back at all of the things I’ve accomplished with the program, and look forward to how I can further grow in the organization. Even through COVID, the VEP was very successful in planning events and increasing community engagement. Personally, I planned two events, one was a Mental Health Awareness Zoom call with NAMI Oregon, and the other was a blanket-making event with Binky Patrol. Both of these events challenged me to reach out to professionals, use networking, and correspond with people about money and logistics. I also worked with the other developers to plan Game Days, which ended up being great events for the VEP members as well as the greater Franklin community.
So for me, after all of my growth through the VEP, it was clear that I wanted to apply for the summer internship. Through this internship, I’ve been challenged to self-reflect, have meaningful conversations with people I normally wouldn’t connect with, and integrate myself further into the community. It’s been hard at times to stay motivated and manage my time, but the connections I’ve made and the skills I’ve gained make it all worth it, and I’m so excited for the VEP this year. I can’t wait to plan even more events (in-person ones too!) and continue on my journey of self-improvement and reflection.