Why did you join the internship?
Coming into the Roots for Peace Program, Kathy Au admits that she was a bit nervous about starting her internship. Initially, it was the opportunity to earn community service hours and service learning credit that grabbed her attention. She needed the credit, but was not sure how the overall experience would turn out. She felt anxious about working with students she did not know, yet continued to come after the first day.
What did you learn from your internship?
“I didn’t know how to plant trees, and I didn’t know how to plant seeds…” she explained to us. Before this opportunity, Kathy had steered away from gardening because of a Chinese superstition passed down by her parents. The belief was that, because of her birth month, any attempts at planting would fail. Luckily, being able to watch the progress and successful growth of the trees she helped plant has been an exciting experience– one that has encouraged her to want to plant more in the future.
What was your favorite part of the program?
Over the semester, Kathy shared with us specific moments that she really enjoyed and learned from. Her favorite part was getting to know new people. As she mentions, “we learned our interests, and we became closer and it became easier and more motivating to plant together.” She viewed this as a learning experience both in the spring and summer when she became a paid intern and attended Summer Freedom School. She noted that it was interesting to learn about stereotypes for the first time.
Kathy also mentions how much further insight the class gave her regarding the importance of healthy food. Living in the city, she is constantly bombarded with fast-food ads and unhealthy choices everyday. Thanks to her internship with Roots for Peace, she now understands how important her health really is and how much her diet affects it.
Would you recommend this to someone else?
Kathy would recommend this internship for anybody who needs to complete some extra community service hours, finish their service learning project, or who just wants to gain extra insight about health and social justice. Unfortunately, she couldn’t join this semester due to the time the internship was taking place!Her improvement for the program would be making it happen more often so that more students can join! She looks forward to volunteering with the program in the future.
Interview took place in Abraham Lincoln High School’s Garden
Interview by Cayla Bradley