Through the College of Saint Benedict Jackson Fellowship I have been able to secure an intern position at TakeAction MN with the Hmong Organizing program. This summer has been an amazing experience. I have been privileged to work with so many people from all kinds of organizations with a progressive agenda. I am currently working with the Veterans Committee in partnership with the Special Guerrilla Unit Veterans and Families of U.S.A., INC. on getting Hmong veterans who fought in the Vietnam War era to benefits.
Being awarded the Jackson Fellowship has set a standard for me to be a leader with integrity and morals, and a positive agent of change. By being a Jackson Fellow, I see that people immediately expect something great out of me, and with those high expectations, I’ve started to see myself in that way. Through the various leadership workshops and inspiring speakers we are able to meet, my definition and perception of leadership and followership has changed, and has empowered me to become a better and well-rounded leader. During this summer, the Jackson Fellowship has put a different lens in front of me where I see that I matter and can make great changes.
This fellowship has exposed me to many things that have changed the way I viewed my future career. I’ve become more focused and realistic about what I can do and have time for in my life rather than spreading myself too much on everything I care about. One of the most important things I learned from the fellowship is that first impressions matter and that you have to present yourself in a way that you want to be viewed. The exposure to the workshops and professional tips has helped me a lot during my fellowship and will continue to help me throughout my career.
I think grant writing was particularly informing and useful. I learned many things I didn’t know of and I find it to be incredibly important skill and knowledge to have especially if you plan to go into the nonprofit sector.