Daniela Valle recently completed an internship in the OSU Extension office in Wasco County.
Since my last blog post, I have been steadily gaining confidence in my skills as an intern during a public health crisis. My first project was to learn about health communications. Communicating effectively with large groups of people is essential, especially when the information you share can save lives. I’ve learned how to make information clear, easy to access, and culturally appropriate. I made a PSA about COVID-19 that was shared in our community and shared with Extension partners statewide. Knowing that social media plays a significant role in health communications, I formatted these PSAs into Facebook and Instagram stories and posts. They’ve been provided to OSU Extension employees for their social media accounts.
One of the highlights of my days is seeing how the Extension mission is met in the Gorge. Extension is like a bridge that connects communities to abundant resources and knowledge to improve the lives of the youngest children and the oldest adults. I have been amazed to see how my community tackles such a critical health crisis with strong partnerships and cooperation. As I sit in on migrant and seasonal farmworker virtual task force meetings, my peers are a diverse group of health experts, business owners, faith leaders, and volunteers. Although we may all hold different job titles, our desire to serve this community is the same. At the beginning of this journey, I felt underqualified and intimidated by the daunting crisis. Since then, my colleagues have helped me become more comfortable sharing my perspective and engaging in different projects.
My first in-person outreach as an intern was a success. In partnership with the local health departments, I distributed over 500 masks, bandanas, and hand sanitizer for migrant and seasonal farmworkers. That hour was extraordinarily hectic but equally gratifying. It’s true that if you choose a profession you are passionate about, the hard work becomes easy. I was happy to be able to provide these vulnerable populations with the supplies they need to stay safe during the upcoming harvest. As I near the end of my internship, I hope to continue gaining valuable experiences and reflecting on the many lessons I’ve learned so far.