Whitney Blair is a student at Patel College of Global Sustainability who participated in a month-long, full-time sustainable agriculture summer internship, working alongside our local interns from the Kauai Ag Internship Program. Through this program she participated in a variety of agricultural service projects across the island, getting an insider’s perspective on food sovereignty and food justice.
Q: What did you hope to learn/gain during your internship? Did you indeed learn/gain those things?
A: I had no expectation, I just wanted to be apart of something meaningful. Yes, and much more. From this internship I learned that sometimes, to have a positive impact, you have to approach the problem from many sides of the same issue. Malama Kauai doesn’t just address food insecurity from one angle but instead attempts to trap the issues on all sides. This internship made it very clear how closely environment, society and economics work together and influence each other, and the difficulty of trying to isolate one of these issues.
Q: What was your favorite part of your summer internship?
A: I really enjoyed the field trips. They offered the opportunity to meet people and help them in moving forward.
Q: What were you most excited about accomplishing during your internship?
A: Making progress in the Youth Garden.
Q: What did you enjoy most about being on Kaua`i?
A: I enjoyed learning about a culture, and how beautiful the surroundings were.
Q: What surprised you most about living on Kaua`i?
A: I was very surprised about the extent of social injustice on that beautiful island.
Q: What was the biggest challenge you faced during your summer internship on Kauai?
A: Working in the sun for that many hours a day.
Q: What type of professional skills did you gain through your summer internship?
A: I think this internship gave me a better idea of what kind of work I would like to be doing in the future.
Q: How do you feel this internship helped with your future career and life goals?
A: There is a vast difference reading about or being lectured about something versus experiencing it. While I have learned so much from my coursework, I have always wanted opportunities to learn outside of the classroom so as to be prepared when I take what I’ve learned into a career path. This internship offered me that experience and so much more.
Q: If you had advice for a future intern, what would it be?
A: To communicate about your internship needs and requirements.