HCD Fellowship Program “strengthens and develops skills”

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Courtney McNeal
HCD Fellow
Public Administration and Nonprofit Management
University of Memphis

Being an intern for the Community Development Council of Greater Memphis has allowed me the opportunity to gain valuable information on revitalization as well as sustainability. Therefore, I am learning a lot about programs and plans that are being designed for the development of Memphis neighborhoods as well as the city in general. For example, I attended the Bioworks Green Print meeting with my Executive Director. It was very interesting to see and learn about this detailed vision and how it will have a positive impact on the city of Memphis as well as its surrounding areas. In addition, this internship is the perfect avenue to strengthen and develop skills in certain areas of interest.  My main areas of interests include volunteer and event coordinating. Fortunately, my director and I were able to outline my contractual duties, which included creating a volunteer program for the organization. I am beyond ecstatic to assist with this project in particular because it is putting me one step closer to accomplishing goals that will be beneficial for career purposes.  Also, I will be able to tell future employers that I helped with getting the CD Council of Greater Memphis’ volunteer program started.

My learning experience at the Community Development Council can be looked at from an academic aspect as well. A lot of activities that I engaged in are parallel to what is being said inside of the classroom. This relationship allows me to perform well at my internship as well as inside of the classroom due to the experience and information gain. I must also include that my experience has been great because the staff treats me as if I am an actual staff member and not an intern. Coming into a new situation (like this one) while entering my first graduate semester can be slightly intimidating. Luckily, the staff was very warm and welcoming, which is very important in regards to my overall experience at the organization.  Again, thus far my experience as been eye-opening and I hope that it continues to be as great as it is currently.

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