PACE Student Sees Indianapolis in New Ways
Kelsey Padgham's internship with Earth House
Posted: Friday, August 31, 2012
Students in the Political and Civic Engagement program (http://pace.indiana.edu) complete an internship as part of their undergraduate certificate requirements. Here is a report from Kelsey Padgham's summer internship experience:
"This summer I had the opportunity to work at Earth House Collective in downtown Indianapolis as a non-profit management intern. I worked alongside the executive director to help with many projects, including Earth House’s latest fundraising campaign, various grant proposals, and groundbreaking plans for a green cultural district in Indy.
"I think one of my favorite parts of this internship is that I’ve gotten to see Indianapolis from a different viewpoint. I’m working with all of these young, talented, motivated individuals, going to meetings, and getting to know other people in their circles, and I’ve learned that they are doing a LOT around the city. These young movers and shakers identify community needs and take the initiative to implement solutions. It has been so refreshing to spend time around people who are interacting with each other and playing off of each other’s strengths to build a better community. I’ve always liked Indianapolis, but being a part of this 'behind-the-scenes' work has made me appreciate the city so much more. It has honestly made me consider living and working in Indianapolis after I graduate, which I had not ever planned on doing before.
"My experiences with Earth House have shown me how important connectivity is within the city. A few weeks ago I was in the mayor’s office sitting in on one of my supervisor’s meetings in which he updated the mayor’s board of economic development about the plans for a green cultural district. There has been rich collaboration with other nonprofits and community groups to work out these plans, and it was pretty cool for me to be part of the process. Earth House isn’t just putting on concerts and art shows; it’s involved in long-term plans for Indianapolis too.
"Through my internship I’ve seen how Earth House, other non-profits, community groups, and the local government fit into the Indianapolis landscape. I’ve learned that communication, including staff communication, communication with past and potential donors, and with other non-profits, is of the utmost importance for effective action. I’ve learned from watching my supervisor use his decision-making, critical thinking, and leadership skills to turn Earth House’s goals into reality.
"I am so appreciative to have been part of Earth House’s growth and development. Earth House strives to pull knowledgeable, effective, and committed citizens (like PACE students!) through its doors every day. You can learn more about everything that Earth House is doing at http://www.earthhousecollective.org."