See You Later! Posted on August 29, 2018 by wpengine Share this post I’ve been putting off writing this blog post because I’m sort of in denial that my time here at Grounded has come to an end. I started here last year at the very beginning of my grad program in Social Work and Public Administration at Pitt (seriously, I started before orientation because I just couldn’t wait). I really was not sure what I was getting myself into, but thought it would be fun. A year later and it has turned out to be the most valuable part of my grad school experience so far. In my opinion, you can only learn so much in a classroom. It takes actually doing the work and meeting the people to truly learn. So, as I wrap up my time here at Grounded I’ll leave you with a few of my favorite experiences throughout the past year. Getting to know the CommunityCare Stewards of Homewood Homewood Good Food Fest 2017 Homewood Good Food Fest 2018 My internship began with the task of recruiting community members of Homewood to participate in the CommunityCare Pilot Program. I attended the Homewood Good Food Fest to spread the word about Grounded and this new program we were starting. From this, and from passing around flyers for a few weeks, we found a group of 10 CommunityCare stewards. The stewards truly are passionate about Homewood and beautifying their community. Throughout this past year, they have spent over 200 hours collectively picking up litter, weeding, tree tending, and attending training sessions. The stewards have formed relationships with one another built on a mutual interest in making their community a better place. This year, a group of stewards attended the Good Food Fest to spread the word about Grounded and the CommunityCare program while I was on vacation and it made me so proud! They are a hilarious, kind, and caring group of people and I will miss them greatly! Litter Walk led by Ms. Cookie! Working together with the Grounded team at Ms. Natalie’s Workday One of my favorite days at Grounded has to be the day Grounded staff came together to bring Ms. Natalie’s garden in Beltzhoover back to life. Ms. Natalie was a part of the ReClaim South Ambassador cohort and has recently gotten sick, leaving her unable to care for her garden. The entire staff came out to help weed, mulch, plant flowers, and show their support. It was a really moving day as Natalie expressed how much she is grateful for Grounded and the support she still receives from the staff even years after her involvement in the program. Following the workday, I had a chance to interview Ms. Natalie, which you can find here and learn more about her and her project! Learning from the most knowledgeable and committed staff members Possibly the best part of my internship has been getting to know and learn from the best staff members around. Thank you all for being so welcoming, answering all of my questions, and for being so dedicated to the work you all do! It’s inspiring to see the changes being made in neighborhoods all across Pittsburgh, and it’s inspiring to see all of the residents that come together to make great things happen. I have learned so much from you all during my time here and I am so grateful for that!