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I started interning at the The Wylde Center’s Edgewood Community Learning Garden in August 2013. As a nutrition major at Georgia State University, my goal was to learn as much as possible about growing food. Working with Monica over the past year has taught me not only how to grow food, but also how much dedication is required when acquiring the gardening skills necessary for this growth to occur. There was never a dull day in the garden. Monica consistently filled our work days with something new to do and learn. I will never forget the days we spent changing out the compost bins, cleaning out the chicken coop, weeding, clearing out overgrown corners with hand saws and shovels, mulching with leaves and wood chips, building structures for others to enjoy, etc. I will also never forget the seeds we planted and how rewarding it felt to watch those same seeds become edible plants. I have learned how to compost in order to create nutrient-dense soil for growing healthy plants, how to keep chickens happy in a chicken coop, how to harvest a wide variety of vegetables and herbs, how to recognize weeds, how to use gardening tools, and so much more. Most importantly, I have learned that anyone can be taught how to start a garden given the proper education.
Overall, Monica taught me how to create a unique and beautiful green space though hard work and passion. During this journey, I have fallen in love with getting my hands dirty and giving back to my community. Words cannot express how amazing it feels to play a role in the creation of a place dedicated to educating and empowering members of the community. The practical skills I have attained from this opportunity will always remain a part of who I am. Due to my experience as a garden intern with The Wylde Center, I feel confident in my ability to work with community gardens in the future while pursuing a career in nutrition. I am forever grateful for my time at the Edgewood Community Learning Garden, and I look forward to what 2015 has in store.
I’m a college student currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture and a certificate in Local Food Systems at UGA, and my Wylde Center internship in Fall 2013 gave me the opportunity to test my classroom knowledge in the real world and further my education in a way that only hands-on practice can offer. I had so much fun working with JC and the rest of the Wylde Center staff and tackling the new and interesting challenges
presented to me each day. I even got to design and install a small garden at the entrance to the Oakhurst space, which is an invaluable experience for a budding landscape architect. Truly, nothing beats the feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction after a day of working out in the garden, especially when you’re contributing to an organization as worthy as the Wylde Center. My time as a Wylde Center intern has inspired me and given me direction, and in my final year at UGA I’m taking more classes in community food production in the hopes that I’ll be able to continue doing this important work in the future.
Marion Menard was our 2014 Spring Marketing and Event Coordinator intern. She came to us through Agnes Scott College. Her Internship was from Jan-May and she accomplished a great deal including organizing the Decatur Earth Day Festival Tshirt Contest. English is her second language and we are impressed by how fast she picked up on programs, communication strategies, and vocabulary. She writes this about her experience with us:
“I’m a exchange student from France, and I had the opportunity to be an intern at the Wylde Center during spring 2014. I’m interested in event planning, marketing and coordinating, so once I began my “Marketing & Event coordinator Internship “, I knew it would be a perfect fit for my future goals.
The internship was very dynamic and allowed me to learn numerous skills. I was assigned several tasked in various domains, so I was never bored.
The biggest event of the Wylde Center in spring is the Earth Day Festival, a family day where the community meets in the garden in a fun and festive atmosphere. With the help of my very patient advisor Andrea, I managed a t Shirt contest for the Kids. The concept was that they sent me themed art, and the grand prize winner got to have their art work on the official city of Decatur Earth Day Festival T-Shirts. It was a lot of work, but I felt really happy to receive, judge the drawings and then hand the different prizes to the kids.
I also managed all the food vendors for the Festival, and organized a cake contest on the same day. I was given a lot of responsibilities and so I didn’t feel like a simple intern, but like a real committed member of the Wylde Center. Outside of this event I also promoted classes from the Center on various websites , managed a part of the merchandise sales, planted seeds in the green house, and tracked their growth and progress.
My internship at the Wylde center was enriching both on a professional and personal level. I acquired skills that will be useful in my future. and had the chance to meet a lot of people and to benefit from their experience, as well as to share their passion.”
Sarah Queen ( pictured below) was our 2013 Summer Marketing Intern from Emory’s Oxford College. She has helped us grow our social media presence, create wonderful promotional materials for our classes, and much more. You can view some of her work here. She writes this about her experience with us:
“Having the opportunity to intern at the Wylde Center was amazing; I initially thought it would be grunt work and I was only doing it to put something on my resume. However, it ended up being an educational and fun experience that has encouraged me to pursue education in the Environmental Science and Business fields. The summer internship not only encouraged me to get out of my comfort zone but also to strengthen my abilities in technology, creativity, and organization.
Working in the non-profit world has taught me the importance of dedication from its workers and no one has taught me that more than Andrea Zoppo, my supervisor. She encouraged me to be my best by helping me by appraising my work and teaching me to critique my own progress. Andrea never made me do busy work. I was given the freedom to create flyers and posters using boundless creativity and was never bound by one person’s vision. Andrea asked me to work on certain projects but once she expressed what needed to be done, she handed over the reins and I worked on the project by myself.
Not only did I learn how to better use certain programs like Adobe InDesign, WordPress, and social media outlets, but I learned the importance of being involved in the community and working towards a goal that betters the world. I could not have asked for a better internship this past summer and am looking forward to staying involved with the Wylde Center!”
Laurin Sephos ( pictured below) was our 2012/2013 Marketing and Event Coordinator Intern . She co-managed our 2013 Chicks in the City Symposium, organized vendors for the 2013 Decatur Earth Day Festival, and helped with a variety of other community event. Laurin created many living documents and resources pages that we continue to use. She learned a variety of programs including INDESIGN. You can view some of her work here. She writes this about her experience with us:,
“Interning at the Wylde Center has been a life changing experience. I have learned more than I ever thought possible and befriended incredible people in the process. Not once have I ever been treated as a stereotypical intern – I didn’t have to make people coffee or pick up lunch. There was no busy work – I had actual responsibility. Everything I did had a real life purpose and was critical in continually improving Wylde Center operations.
This internship was flexible in the best sort of way – deadlines were firm but creativity, imagination, and innovation were always encouraged. There was never one specific solution to a problem. I was given the space to figure things out in the way that made most sense to me and bring my solutions to my supervisor for discussion. By the way – Wylde Center staff are awesome. I never felt like I was working under them; I was always working with them.
Coming into the internship, I had strong organizational skills, a hearty work ethic, and the desire to actually make a difference by getting people interested (or more interested) in sustainability.The drive to continually improve and set the bar higher is what you need in the Events and Marketing Internship.
I learned how to use Adobe InDesign to create flyers, programs, and bulletin boards to assist in marketing outreach. I learned how to plan, organize, and arrange events of all sizes. I learned how to communicate more effectively and clearly through phone, email, and writing. And, I learned how to be team player, delegate certain task, and prioritize.
This internship has opened my eyes to the concept of community partnership and the importance of working with fellow groups to strengthen individually and as a whole community. Planning large events, like Chicks in the City, challenged me to build bonds with neighboring organizations to ensure the greater community was enriched through such programming. I networked, promoted, marketed, and – most importantly – tried to create opportunities for people to embrace sustainability. The most valuable take away from this internship has been its community based approach and grassroots organizational rhetoric.
To be successful in this position, you really need to have an openness for creativity and adventure, flexibility, an eagerness to learn new things, a desire to be on the cutting edge, the ability to go with your gut, and a true passion for the environment and sustainability.
I have grown so much as an individual during my ten month internship at the Wylde Center. Wherever I end up, I know the skills the Wylde Center has instilled in me will help me tackle any challenge thrown my way. Thank you, Wylde Center, for not only preparing me for work in the real world but also developing me further as a human being by cultivating the traits of patience and kindness.”