Tia Asher: Getting to Know the Residents of East San Jose
As I set foot in the Veggielution office for the first time, I was struck with a mixture of nerves and excitement. I didn’t know much about the organization or their role in area, but I was happy to be there nevertheless. I was immediately welcomed with open arms and friendly faces that have still not faded. Veggielution is a nonprofit organization focused on building community in East San Jose through fresh food, farming, and compassion. This is done and strengthened through the organization’s programs that add value to the community in their own individual respects. Veggielution is an amazing place that succeeds in bringing a diverse community together through one shared interest: food.
One aspect of this internship that has pleasantly surprised me is how much I get to interact with community members. My supervisor has given me the opportunity to get to know different areas of the organization by having me shadow a different manager from one of the four departments twice a month. My first experience was working with Eastside Connect— a program that was developed to distribute fresh produce to low-income San Jose residents that have been hit especially hard from the affects of the pandemic. I helped pack the produce into boxes and was able to interact with someone of the people who came by to pick up the food. It was such an amazing experience and I look forward to helping Eastside Connect again soon!
My title at Veggielution is “Program Administration Intern”, so I primarily help the Administration team with any tasks they have for me. As a Fellow, I bring unique perspectives and ideas to the team whenever I can. I hope to lighten the workload of my supervisors and help out wherever and whenever I can. Along with this, I appreciate how willing others are to help me as well. I don’t have a lot of spanish speaking skills, but I’ve had the opportunity to practice speaking spanish with some of my fluent coworkers. They are always patient and encouraging, and I’m so thankful that they want to help me. With my remaining time at Veggielution, I also hope to be a dependable asset that people can trust to do high quality work without having to worry about it themselves.
I am so grateful for the opportunity to intern at Veggielution and to work with such amazing people every week. As I continue with this program, I hope to further develop my relationships with my coworkers and the community members in East San Jose. I’m most excited for more First Saturday events and to continue shadowing the different managers. This internship has been nothing short of amazing - from the community members to the events to the team itself. And although my time at Veggielution has been short so far, I have already learned a lot. I look forward to everything the future may hold and l can’t wait to continue working with this wonderful organization!