By Heaven Chacon, ELK Intern
My name is Heaven Chacon and I am a junior at MLK Early College. I have been interning at ELK for a week and have another week to go – and I love it! Through my school I have been able to have the opportunity to be an intern at an organization of my choice for two weeks and really immerse myself in a real work environment. I secured my two weeks at ELK and in perfect timing too! At ELK, I have been a helping hand around the office and have helped ELK staff prep for upcoming events and have participated in the school-based programs. During my first week at ELK, I joined in on a couple of activities with students in the area, such as planting pollinators at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, teaching them about the water cycle, and cleaning up my community in celebration of Earth Day! I was also able to have the chance to sit in on a meeting with a partnership organization called Metro DNA (Denver Nature Alliance) where I was able to secure the opportunity to have a leadership role with youth like myself.
All the work that I was doing with ELK during the first week of my internship was in preparation for our big celebration hosted by ELK – our Earth Day Service Project in Montbello! This event was sponsored by The North Face and we had a great turnout of over 65 people from the Northeast community! Everyone met at Montbello Central Park at 9 am and our project got going soon after. The morning started off with a meeting about the service project itself and what we were celebrating, then transitioned into the task. With some help from Denver Parks and Recreation, everyone received trash pickers and trash bags while we began to walk around and start the clean up. We did this until 11 am and ended the morning with pizza and great company. The ELK staff and I were very pleased with the way things turned out on Saturday morning. We truly couldn’t have done it without our amazing sponsorship by The North Face; we appreciate all the support given! What I really loved and appreciated were the contributions and participation from everyone who attended our Earth Day Service Project. Many people from the community came out on their own time and gave a helping hand to the space that we all share.
What I’ve noticed and enjoyed a lot while participating in this internship is the involvement that ELK has with the community and how the community is involved with ELK! It’s great seeing so many people in support of making our environment a cleaner and more aesthetic place to reside. The work that I am doing as an intern now is meaningful to my education because it allows me to get an inside look on what organizations that I am interested in are doing, and get a feel of what it’s like to be in a real work environment. The time spent with this lovely organization has uplifted me and has presented me with many opportunities and new experiences that have brought new perspectives and a foot in the door for the future. This internship has made me feel confident in what lies ahead and the work that I want to pursue. In the short amount of time that I’ve been here, I’ve already been presented with a couple opportunities and created connections that will benefit me and my future. I’ve loved and enjoyed every day I’ve spent with ELK and plan on staying in contact with them in the long run!