by Kendra Dickinson
As some of you may know, I have been working in the Extension Office of Hispanic Outreach as part of my Capstone Project for my minor in the Environmental Fellows Project. Over the semester I devoted myself to projects such as a Water Quality Survey given to Spanish-speakers, a Latin American Literature Reading Group, researching world environmental, health and hunger problems, translating and editing materials in English and Spanish, and a project called Scientific Animations Without Borders, working on scripts for videos in English and Spanish. Looking back on the semester, I remember when I first approached my minor advisor, looking for a project. He suggested that I find a project to fulfill my minor’s Capstone Project that combined my major, Spanish, and my minor, Environmental Studies, in order to do a multidisciplinary project that used my strengths and put to use my studies here at the university.
Overall, I could not be more happy that I did that, and that I worked in the Extension Office. I have been challenged, confused, stressed, but overall I have been exceptionally fulfilled in knowing that my work and dedication mattered and have made a difference. I have learned about the limitations that language and literacy barriers place on community involvement in creating solutions to environmental issues, and the importance of environmental education that takes into account language, literacy and cultural values. As I prepare to graduate, I know that the skills and knowledge that I have gained as a part of this experience will be invaluable to my future projects. I know that in the future I will continue this kind of work. To anyone that might be reading this, I challenge you to combine your interests and knowledge in the same way that I did to create projects that are specific, innovative and overall effective. Good luck to all of you in your endeavors!