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Empowered in Action: Moving into the Senior Fellowship

By Anna Tracht, Senior Fellow

One month into my Senior Fellowship, I’m finally starting to get
my feet under me. Working as the Highland Center’s Food Programs Coordinator, I
am taking over projects that last year’s Senior Fellow, Thea, started, as well
as introducing several new programs. Shifting from the first phase of the Fellowship
to the second phase is a transition from learning to action. During the Farm Fellowship,
we work at the AMI farm developing our farming skills, and participating in
workshops. Then, while working with different organizations in the Senior Fellowship,
we can put that knowledge to use and have an impact on the food systems in our
communities. I’ve been adopting this approach, this shift into action, both at
work and in my personal life.

Coming back into a non-profit setting, after six months on the
AMI farm, was a tricky transition. At first, I was given a level of autonomy
that was a little intimidating. But if there’s one thing I learned through my
time at AMI, it’s that it’s ok to dive headfirst into these projects, and to
feel empowered to make decisions, make mistakes, and try new things. At work,
this has meant taking the lead on developing a new internship program. At home,
it’s meant embarking on a variety of projects. This past week, I tapped my
first maple tree! After much deliberation, research, and asking around, I
decided it was time to go for it. Fully realizing that I didn’t quite know what
I was doing, I jumped on in. I’ve learned that the best way to learn is to do,
even (and sometimes especially) if I make mistakes along the way - and I’ve
been able to apply that both at work and at home. Hopefully, I end up with some
sweet successes, whether that’s a new program or a quart of syrup.

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