Just the Start

By Luis Ochoa – CFJC Intern

Before I started my internship at Community Food and Justice Coalition (CFJC) I took a look at my health education 480 syllabus and saw the 240 hours that were required for the internship. I thought that 240 hours was a huge chunk of time but looking back at my internship I now realize that time starts to fly as soon as you get familiar with your surroundings, which for me was around the 3rd or 4th week.

Unlike the other interns, who started their internship around the same time I began, I came to CFJC with little information about what food justice is. My first week I spent reviewing CFJC’s previous projects, reports, and website to get an understanding of what the coalition does. While I did understand it on paper—that CFJC provides technical assistance and support to groups and communities—it was a different experience actually observing CFJC staff. One thing in particular that I enjoyed at CFJC was the available support. Let’s take the blog writing and posting process as an example. I would write and send my blog to staff, and then they would read it and meet with me to provide feedback for possible changes before I published it online. I also appreciated the regular meetings and check-ins. For me it was great to have reminders for due dates, and to be able to share with everyone what you have been working on. Though my time as an intern was short I learned a great amount of skills and knowledge that I will take with me my whole life. Like how CFJC’s Executive Director, Armando, no matter the task at hand would always keep the big picture in mind. On my final day as an intern Armando said, “Never underestimate the power of a safe space” as anything can happen in a safe space. Ultimately I would like to thank everyone at the CFJC for being so great to all the interns, and for the guidance that will be useful in my future career, I could not have asked for a better internship location.

 

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CFJC promotes the basic human right to healthy food while advancing social, agricultural, environmental and economic justice. Through advocacy, organizing and education, we collaborate with community-based efforts to create a sustainable food supply. We envision a food system in which all activities, from farm to table, are equitable, healthful, regenerative and community-driven.

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