Since I am a junior I've already answered the hard questions about college: what my major will be: Environmental Studies. Should I do a minor: yes, in Political Science. Where should I live off campus: 4 blocks away in the best duplex ever with the best girls ever. Where should I study abroad: Senegal!
Now I'm facing larger questions because my senior year is beginning to loom in front of me like an ominous storm cloud filled with uncertainty about my future after Macalester. To help find an answer to that question I'm going to make the most of the summer between my junior and senior years. And luckily, I have my short-term future completely figured out! And his name is Chuck Green!
Professor Chuck Green taught at Macalester for over 40 years and he deeply impacted the lives of many of his students, he is legendary. Upon his retirement a summer fellowship was created in his honor to encourage students to continue to be engaged in their communities and find solutions to social problems they want to change. It is aptly named the Chuck Green Civic Engagement Fellowship. There are 12 students (fellows) each summer who find organizations to partner with in the Twin Cities and develop amazing project for and with these organizations.
I applied for the fellowship last fall and was thankfully accepted! The fellowship has a classroom component so that we plan our projects the spring semester before we implement them. This spring I've been muddling through options for an organization to work with and have decided on Project for Pride in Living in St. Paul. Project for Pride in Living works with low-income and immigrant families in the Twin Cities to empower them and give them tools to succeed. This summer I will work on their summer gardening and literacy program called Roots 'n Reading at two of their housing sites. My project will build off Roots 'n Reading to get the parents more involved and more aware of healthy and cost-effective eating options in the neighborhood.
I cannot believe I have my summer plans so figured out and they are so exciting and cool! I get to garden, play with kids, and design my own project! Now all I have to do is survive finals and then I get to enjoy my awesome summer and continue to ignore the more distant future.