Hello, my name is Sarah. I am a first year MPA student and currently working on a Waste Stream Development project. The goal of the project is to bring economic development to Athens County by using recyclables and re-routing the current waste stream. I am passionate about green works and sustainability so when the proposal for this project was introduced I jumped at the chance to help my community and region.
I am fortunate for this opportunity to learn about non-profit work in a controlled environment through the MPA practicum. It gives me a chance to use what I have gleaned from the classroom and use it in real world situations. But I also get the advice from my professors’ aka my safety net. I know if I have a question or problem that I can go to them for help and will learn how to then handle a similar situation on my own the next time.
Having a mentor in this process is vital for success especially with a recent development in my project. I had an eventful first week back after winter break. My team of two became a team of one, my partner sadly decided to not continue the program for personal reasons. I hope that he finds happiness in whatever field he decides to continue his studies in. It was very short notice but I refuse to let difficulties and obstacles hinder my progress. My first move after learning the news was talking to Anita; she is the advisor for the practicum. She immediately told me to stop freaking out and that everything would be all right. She was right. I am now working at my own pace, decision-making and time management are non-issues and I was inspired by a new idea today that might be a great way to get funding for our project. Hopefully I am on a roll!
My first official meeting with the Waste Stream Development group is Thursday and I want to go into the meeting with confidence and a new plan of action. Change can be hard but hopefully for me change will create new opportunities and help me further the goals of my project.