My freshman year at CSU-Pueblo involved a retreat designed to introduce me and my classmates to the President’s Leadership Program and our leadership minor. During the course of the event, Taylor Voss, a 2015 El Pomar Intern, presented on his summer at the Foundation. While I have forgotten most of what took place that weekend, I never forgot that presentation and made it a goal to serve as an El Pomar Intern before completing college.
It wasn’t until my sophomore year that I began to see the steps that would lead me there. During a rough fall semester, I decided to change my major and was struggling to see how the internship could fit into my new plans. Soon after, I attended El Pomar’s Student Leadership Experience retreat, where I learned more about leadership and myself through conversation, informational sessions, and engaging activities. The experience left me even more enthusiastic that the internship was where I belonged.
That spring, I submitted my application for the summer Internship Class of 2017, and was ecstatic when I was given the opportunity to interview for the position. Unfortunately, when I got a call a month later, I realized that I had not quite met my goal. I was encouraged by the Fellows I had worked with during El Pomar’s retreat to seek further opportunities to develop myself and apply again the following year. I took that advice to heart and challenged myself to become more involved in my campus community. I was elected to student government, took on a greater leadership role in the tutoring center, and volunteered with more service organizations. The process helped me build greater self-awareness and I realized how indirectly El Pomar had helped me find my niche in college.
By the time I submitted my application and interviewed for the position last spring, I was more confident, mature, and prepared. It was a great lesson in how to learn and grow from rejection and when I answered the phone the second time, the call ended with an excited squeal from me.
Getting there took a few more twists and turns than I originally anticipated, but not only was I ultimately given the opportunity to work with El Pomar Foundation for the betterment of Colorado communities, I learned lessons in self-awareness and determination along the way.