Some people don’t know what they want to be when they grow up. Some people have always known exactly what they want to be. Some people want to be, well, everything. I’m the latter. Constantly overestimating how much I can fit in to my 100 year time card, I’m stuffed to the brim with far too many passions and expectations for myself – especially as someone who can barely reach the top pantry shelf. My college career began as a political science student, but by the end of my freshman year I was a sculpting major. I juggled all kinds of hobbies with my education and eventually realized it was necessary for my own sanity – as well as my parents’ - to go ahead and narrow down exactly what my role in life would be.
The last semester of my sophomore year, I was required to take an environmental science class as the final step in my general education credits. I had no idea initially that this really would be the first step in my environmental career. This class showed me that I could study the natural world and make a difference; I could help be part of something bigger and preserve what I considered the most important part of life. With the guidance of a very involved teacher, I decided I wanted to improve communication in the environmental sector. It seemed to be a struggling part of the nonprofit world: how do we make something as everyday as a tree seem sexy and interesting?
With little more than an associate’s degree and a part time restaurant job, I looked around for new opportunities that would put me down the right path. When I saw the intern opportunity for Choose Clean Water, I applied immediately. After some email tag and an interview, I had my first professional job. Choose Clean Water has taught me so much about the major and minor aspects of nonprofit work, communicating internally and externally, as well as how to convince people that they should care. I spend most of my time here formulating social media posts that are lively and interactive, as well as writing blogs on all of our organization topics.
When I’m not working I can be found spending time with my pets, doing some sort of art, or traveling - though if I’m not working, there is a good chance I don't want to be found. I enjoy exploring the woods and Bay I grew up around, and that I now work hard to protect. The next few months of my internship will be important to becoming the influential person I hope to be one day, and I am beyond grateful that Kristin and the Coalition were able to give me this opportunity.
Mary Katherine Sullivan is an intern with Choose Clean Water