I’m not the best with words so you all will have to forgive me in advance, but I think what I’m going through right now in relation to the Leadership Campaign is something many people can relate to.
For two summers now, I have worked as a day camp councilor at Overlook Farm, which is an education center for Heifer Project International. I try to teach kids 6-12 about the world that they live in and some of the big problems people face in it. Talking about poverty and hunger and sustainability to a group of kids may be extremely hard (and trust me, it is), but it is also extremely eye opening. Children have an uncanny way of simplifying the problems that adults overcomplicate. The whole experience at the farm completely changed my life, and made me see more clearly that where there are problems, there are solutions.
At the beginning of this school year, I headed off to a new life as a college student at Lesley University, and I was pumped. I wanted to find a way that I personally could change the world. I decided to change my intentions from being an artist, to being an art teacher. That didn’t seem to be enough of a change for me, but I just couldn’t find the time to explore other options. After adjusting somewhat to living on my own I started to venture back and forth between home in Worcester and school. My boyfriend lives in an apartment with both Nate and Genevieve, so many times I’d find myself having conversations about the world and it’s many issues. Time and time again, they would mention the Leadership Campaign’s sleep-outs on Boston Common. And every time I’d say that I would try to go, and every week Sunday night rolled around and I have 2-3 projects to finish by morning. So I blew it off, reassuring myself that I’d definitely go next week. Or at least the week after that. etc.
First semester ended, and I went home feeling exhausted and slightly unfulfilled. I had passed my classes, made good friends, but there was something else that I could be doing. During break, I discovered accidently that I had met the Campus Campaign Coordinator for Lesley University’s budding Leadership Campaign group at Orientation that summer– Kevin. I messaged him on Facebook and scheduled a one on one with him.
I came back second semester ready to go- for real this time. I cut meat out of my diet. I started exercising every morning. Best of all I got involved. I had my one on one with Kevin, and I decided to jump on the Leadership Campaign bandwagon. I planned to go to the Amherst sleep out- which I did- and start going to environmental club on tuesdays. The sleep out was an absolute blast, though a little cold, and I met a ton of new people. I talked to Linnea- who I knew from contra dancing- about what the Regional Outreach Coordinator did and It got me really interested. I love talking to people about new things that they might not have heard about. So I guess the Boston Regional Outreach Coordinator might be a title that’s in my near future, but we’ll see.
Thursday I stepped in for Kevin at what I guess was the Boston Regional meeting of sorts. That paired with the training I went to in Worcester this weekend which only reinforced my want to do outreach. I was also interested to get an inside look at the planning that goes into the sleep outs. Today I went to the Barn Raising! This was really my cup of tea. I got down and dirty in the basement cutting pieces of foam to then spray foam under to floor to close up holes letting heat escape. It felt really good to physically do something to help change things, no matter how small.
I know next to nothing about politics, and less about the science behind climate change. What I do know is that something has to change. How exactly, I have no idea, but here I am, ready to (help) change the world.