Constantine Faller, Athens’ Own IC/Liaison recently invited me (Kathy Jacobson, Broadwell Hill IC/Liaison) to serve again as a collaborative mentor within the Athens’ Own Internship Program.
Halley Davidson joined the Athens’ Own team in May, 2016 and began working as an intern in the Athens’ Own home office located within the Broadwell Hill Off-Grid Learning Center. My office is also located on ‘the hill’ so this arrangement provided me with the opportunity to spend time with her while also interacting as one of Athens’ Own collaborative business partners.
Athens’ Own is a business network and a family of diverse individuals working toward similar goals in a collaborative fashion. Many employers are reporting great difficulty finding people with solid work ethics and skills. The Athens’ Own Resilience Worker Certificate Program addresses this need within the American workforce and helps prepare individuals for success in the working world. Individuals who successfully complete the program are awarded a certificate with employment assistance via the diverse business network, including other American Sustainable Business Council members.
I mention this because Athens’ Own also provides its interns with opportunities to interact with other collaborative business partners, such as myself, as a way to deepen their collaborative Athens Community experience while identifying strengths, weaknesses and opportunities for employment skill development.
My experiences with Halley have been most enjoyable and productive. The resilience worker mentorship involves on-the-job training and feedback per the resilience worker criteria chart; Halley has scored very highly in many of the worker readiness categories. Plus, I have greatly enjoyed her company, our diverse conversations and her help with farm chores. Her desire to learn about forest stewardship and the diversified farm ventures have brought great joy to my heart.
My role as a resilience worker mentor helped establish a relationship while setting the stage for role as the mentor regarding the Intern Log marketing project. My experience as a Registered Nurse, grant writer/manager, emergency management planner, etc., certainly provides a foundation in the realms of documentation, communication, teamwork, etc. But, in order to step into this mentorship position, I needed to re-orient myself to the Athens’ Own Internship Program. Alyse Carter, a previous intern/employee, created some great internship guidance documents. So, in Athens’ Own lingo, I had to enter into a research phase to know what the interns had received so I could better track with the program, establish common ground and determine my best path forward in service to Halley, the Athens’ Own internship program and our collective efforts.
So, I took notes while re-reading all the Internship Information and did my best to winnow the instructions into keywords, concepts and goals. I created a synopsis, as well as an even briefer checklist, as a contribution to the team effort. (These documents are drafts awaiting further team development.)
The proverb, it takes a village to raise a child, may indeed be in the halls of cliché now but it is a fundamental tenet within the Athens’ Own community. Sustainability involves environmental, economic and social practices toward greater resilience. The Athens’ Own Internship Program is an effort to fulfill our sense of social responsibility as we work toward greater community health and well-being.
I am thankful to have the opportunity to participate in this program and honored to serve as Halley’s mentor as she takes flight from the nest during this first summer away from home. The role carries with it great responsibility; I welcome input from her caring family and other members of our collective village.
Please contact me if you have suggestions for improvement and/or any other feedback.
Kathy Jacobson, RN Transition Midwife
Athens’ Own on Broadwell Hill