My name is Julie Malnak and since the end of this July, I have had the incredible opportunity to be the intern here at the Edgewater Environmental Coalition. The summer of 2021 was shrouded in a stand still because of the pandemic, but this internship allowed me to become part of a community and help a cause I am incredibly passionate about.
As an Environmental Science major at Loyola University of Chicago, many of my studies have relayed the importance of the human aspects to sustainability. By being a part of the coalition, it was an experience the courses and classes could never teach me. It honed many of my skills in public outreach, professional communication, and organization. It also allowed me to feel closely integrated within the Edgewater community. I have lived here for the past 3 years and only after this internship have I felt truly part of it.
I have had the great pleasure of meeting many wonderful people passionate about environmentalism from all walks of life which is incredibly encouraging. I wish I could have done more in person, and I am grateful for everything I was able to do in person. Working on projects like the Autumn Pumpkin Smash, Fall Tree Planting, and the Plastics Initiative has increased my confidence in my own abilities. Seeing all the hard work I and everyone else in the coalition put into promoting each event blossom into real benefits for the community fueled my drive for sustainability.
Being a part of the Edgewater Environmental Coalition has been such a positive experience and influence on my environmental career path. I cannot wait to see what the organization will do in the future and to volunteer for their events.