Hi I am Christina! Lets rewind to two years ago; I was less than a year away from shedding the oh so comfortable skin of a full-time student and taking on the real world. I had mastered the art of being a student but as I sat in the library, fluffing my resume, the little else that I felt confident doing made me restless.
My anxiety settled shortly after I started an internship at the Wedge Community Garden. This had everything to do with the garden’s manager, Shamsa Visone, who little by little encouraged me to become a part of every aspect of what she was doing in the community. And she was doing a lot.
At the beginning, she would draft emails for me and bring me along to Citizen’s Advisory Council meetings where she represented the garden. By the end, I was speaking regularly at those meetings, sharing updates on the projects I was leading (and writing my own emails too).
The tangible things I was making happen at the Wedge excited me. And more importantly I was becoming increasingly confident; I could successfully be something besides a student or research assistant.
When Shamsa decided to pass along her role as manager of the Wedge and move on to develop a student leadership program of her own, she again invited me to join her. Together we formulated an objective: to connect students with opportunities to develop soft skills while leading community-based projects. With this objective and our combined skills, we began building what has now evolved into The Young Adult Leadership Project (YALP).
Along the way, I finished my internship at the Wedge and graduated from NC State with a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences.
This past June, I completed a term of service with Americorps. I served as a Playworks coach in an elementary school in Mountain View, CA, where I experienced first hand the power that play has to bring out the best in kids and a community. I cannot wait to return as a coach in August.
Until then, I am a Lead Science Instructor at Camp Galileo Cupertino, where I get to teach innovation-infused science curriculum to Kindergarten campers. When I am not at camp, I am working with YALP interns, exploring California parks, or cooking.