In her own words:
My service placement is with Franklin Furnace, which is an art archive. It’s not a museum – it’s like an art library. Being a forensic science major at John Jay is stressful, and it is nice for me to do something art-based. I’m an assistant assigned to all of the artists working on environmental issues. I make sure artists have what they need during exhibitions, make sure the sound crew is there for shows, and attend the artists’ shows, which is great. There is excitement, because you never know what is going to happen.
One of the artists I work with builds wetlands to deal with saltwater runoff. The day before her wetland show, I was helping with the prep work, which included weeding the wetlands. She knows so much about these plants! One of the weeds I was trying to remove had roots that were two feet long, and it just refused to come out of the ground. I was gripping onto the plant for dear life. The effect of this work was big. So many people came to the show and many noted that the level of invasive species was low. I nodded to myself that I was a part of that.
I joined the Service Corps for multiple reasons. I want to go to graduate school, and having a paid internship is a great opportunity. Also, my family lives in Trinidad, and for me having a job is really important. If this experience had not been paid, I would not have been able to participate.
What advice would I give to future Service Corps members? The first impression you make is the most important. Come to the matching fair with a good 10-second pitch so that you can be placed somewhere that you’re really in love with. Also, being in the Corps is a lot of work and requires time management. But it pays off.
Through my service placement, I’ve learned that it’s good to know people. It’s good to get yourself out there, even if you’re doing something that you think is a less important job. It’s not so much what your job is, but who you get to meet. That’s a major benefit of being in this program.
(Kelsha, in the middle, with all of the Service Corps students placed at Franklin Furnace)