Hello everyone, my name is Yolanda Diaz, and I am from the town of Nyssa in Malheur County. I’m a student at George Fox University, on my way to a bachelor’s degree in social work. I aspire to pursue a master’s in social work and then become a licensed clinical social worker. One of my main goals is to have my own counseling practice for families and children.
I’ve been involved in OSU Extension 4-H Teens as Teachers and other programs where I’ve had the opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C., and network with many STEM professionals. This summer, I’m working alongside my supervisor, Barbara Brody, associate professor of practice and 4-H educator. So far, I’ve had the opportunity to plan cooking camps for youths, learn about aviation services, promote physical activity around our county, and develop engaging activities at the farmers market.
The process of planning and delivering “Kids in the Kitchen” was a new and exciting experience for me. I’m grateful that our team is able to host summer camps in order for youths to gain essential skills regarding cooking and baking. Seeing them understand concepts and apply them to their work throughout the summer is truly rewarding. Our team has also gotten the chance to visit different schools in our county and teach lessons related to food and nutrition.
One of my favorite parts of this internship is working in makerspace events. I contribute by helping students learn the process of laser engraving, vinyl cutting, T-shirt and sticker-making, and 3D printing. With the rapid advancement of technology, I believe it’s crucial for youth to learn 21st-century skills. One of the best things about makerspace is that it provides a chance for students to stay determined and creative through the process. The makerspace even won a national teamwork award this year!
Planning educational activities for families at the farmers market is one of the most rewarding parts of this internship. It’s an exciting time to meet families and share resources with them. This year, all of our activities are focused on bringing awareness regarding what bees do for our environment. Engaging with youth about this topic, while building fun crafts, is a beneficial way to inform children about the agricultural setting we live in and how it contributes to our daily lives. The farmers market really helps Extension reconnect with our community and remind them what we are all about.
A valuable lesson I’ve gained from working in Extension this summer is the importance of community partnerships. Involving different organizations is very beneficial. Networking with professionals that may have a different background than yours brings another insight into the subject matter and it also strengthens our community. I’m looking forward to the upcoming events that we have planned. I am thankful to be doing such meaningful work in my community and to grow as a leader, student and intern.