The day that my Biology teacher told me about the opportunity to intern at The Science Barge was the day that so many opportunities opened for me-I just did not know it yet. One day, we were in class, and my teacher stopped to tell us about this amazing opportunity. I became interested immediately and raised my hand, only I was not the only one. There were many others who wanted to intern at the barge and yet I was the one chosen. I was a junior in high school and due to my rigorous work load it was difficult for me to have a job during the school year but this was during the summer so I thought it was great. Not only that, but, I was interested in learning more about the environment and everything that this new setting would have to teach me.
After my interview with Gwen Hill, an extraordinary leader and boss, I was extremely excited and anxious waiting for July to come so I can start working. After Gwen sent me everything there was to know, I became a bit apprehensive because there were so many things I had not heard of and did not know. I studied and studied hoping that everything would go great on my first day.
July finally arrived and shortly after so did my first day as an intern at The Science Barge. It was a great, hot summer day on the Hudson River and I loved every minute of it. As the weeks passed I learned so much about the environment, sustainability, urban farming, and countless other things. My eyes truly became open after this experience because I never knew the actual facts I just knew the environment was “in danger” like everyone else would say. After interning at the barge I truly became more conscientious about ways I could be potentially be harming the environment as well as others.
My experience at the Science Barge left me so much. Our duties involved a lot of greenhouse maintenance and teaching about everything we did there. I learned to take care of plants in ways that I never did before. I became an expert in something I was never able to do. As for teaching, before teaching, of course I had to learn more. Learning was great and teaching was even better. Seeing Gwen and the others do it with such ease gave me confidence that I could do it just like them as well. I learned ways to teach young kids and older ones all the same information in just different ways. It was a great experience because teaching others something they did not know before is a great thing for me.
During the weekends when we had to give tours to people who came on was when I really developed skill and practice. At that point it was just me and them and they were depending on me to teach them everything I knew. As time passed, I became more fluent in my tours and it was a great experience being able to teach people what I knew. My tours went from being a couple of minutes, to even an hour long. I met so many people who were all different and great and they all contributed to the buildup of my confidence. The fact that I could easily talk to a stranger about everything that the Science Barge was about was wonderful. What was even greater was that I could actually carry a conversation with people who were much older and much more experienced in the field and I felt like I fit in perfectly which was an amazing feeling.
During the tours, there was one question that constantly came up. The question was, “what are you going to be studying in college?” Although I am about to embark on that journey, I am still not one hundred percent sure what I want to do in life. But this question, every single time I was asked, took me by surprise. English is my favorite subject, but if I had to pick a science I would without a doubt pick biology. Most of the people I talked to asked me if I was going to go into environmental studies or anything of the sort in college because it was so natural to me. The compliments people gave me about my ability to give tours and to speak so well on the subject were great. Bob complimented me all the time as well.
When it came time to fill out college applications, I realized how much I was interested in the environment now thanks to my experience at The Science Barge. Besides from English or Communications, Environmental Studies became something I looked for in a college.
With the multitude of questions asked by colleges, one of them was to describe one of my work experiences or extra curricular activities that I did throughout high school. Despite my three years of various activities, the first one I thought about was The Science Barge and that is because The Science Barge without a doubt influenced me the most. Writing about my experiences and everything I learned was something I could do with such ease. Being an intern contributed so much to the appreciation I have for the environment as well as my confidence and communicating skill. It is because of this that I chose to write about it.
As my college acceptances have started coming in, one of my top schools, Hofstra University, sent me my acceptance letter. Not only was I thrilled because it was one of my top choices as well as my first acceptance but the admissions director added in a little something extra. On my acceptance letter, she put a post-it where she hand wrote me a note, commending me for my achievements at The Science Barge and for my great interest in the environment. I was excited to say the least.
Evidently, The Science Barge was a wonderful experience that I would not trade for anything. If I could go back and do it again I would without a doubt. Everyone is so nice and welcoming. It opened a lot of other doors for me, but not only that, I learned so much and am able to share that information with others whenever I can. I would recommend the internship to anyone else whether they are interested in science or not because it was such a beneficial experience for me and I know it will be for anyone else.