Kasey Purcell recently completed an internship in the OSU Extension office in Tillamook County.
When I began this internship, I didn’t know what to expect. After just finishing my freshmen year of college, and dealing with the struggles COVID threw into the mix, I was eager to work on something that would grasp my full attention. These unprecedented times left me with a lot of anxiety for what the future might hold and I didn’t want that to keep me from working my hardest.
When I finally came to the realization that my internship would not be a normal one, I was a little upset but ready for the challenge. I began with an open mind and no expectations, and I think in the end that was the smartest thing to do.
With this mindset, I was prepared to work on whatever was thrown my way, even if it was outside my wheelhouse. I created two resource guides for Tillamook and Lincoln counties. I created and published/will soon publish six blogs about my time in this internship and nutrition-related topics. I sat in on a wide variety of meetings throughout my 10 weeks. I lent a hand by creating resources for Tillamook County Wellness’s newest campaign. I wrote social media postings, created guides to events and most of all, I learned the true value of Extension Service.
Every aspect of Extension’s work focuses on the education and growth of the agricultural industries in our state. In Tillamook County particularly, I was able to watch how Extension worked to bring inclusivity and new ideas to the health and wellness teams in our community. Going into this internship, I knew nothing about Extension Service. But coming out, I am so thankful for this opportunity. OSU Extension truly has a great mission, and they have yet to stray from it, even after 109 years!
As I make my way back to the University of Hawaii at Manoa for my sophomore year, I hope to take with me these values of education, inclusivity, and being open to new ideas. This time working with Extension, and my supervisor, really showed me what it is like to work in community nutrition. There is so much more to it than creating wellness plans to help a community grow and that was evident to me. I worked on such a diverse range of projects and with people with so many different backgrounds.
I want to thank OSU Extension, my supervisor Dusti Linnell, and all of the community partners I’ve worked with this summer for this opportunity. It truly was a one-of-a-kind experience, and not just because I was able to work in my PJs all day.