Industry: Education
Type of Internship: Education: Teaching/Training/Lesson Planning
Student Name: Emily Touchet
Graduation Year: 2017
Major: Cognitive and Brain Sciences
Minor: None
Position Title: Arcadia Center Farm and Nutrition Education Fellow
Hours: 40 hours per week
Paid or Unpaid: Other funding/salary source, full-time

What do you do as an intern at this organization?

I began assisting with office work and a research project. I got a chance to see how the various aspects of the non-profit fit together by meeting all members of the team - Executive Director, Director of Operations, Mobile Market Manager, Education Director, and Production Farm Manager. My main two projects are preparing for and supporting Farm Camp, a 5 week day camp for children in the area grounded in experiential education and core lesson plans surrounding sustainable agriculture, and researching possibilities for education models for 0-5 year olds and their caregivers/family members. Preparing for Farm Camp involves working in the garden, doing office and database work to make sure all paperwork was in order for the parents, reading education materials and preparing lesson plans and games for the campers. My last 5 weeks of the internship have been spent as a floater and as a counselor at the Farm Camp. My research project included talking to environmental educators, researching what exists for early childhood farm to school initiatives, identifying a gap and suggesting options for how Arcadia could fill that gap.

How did you find this internship?

Tisch Summer Fellows

What do you enjoy most about your internship?

My co-workers are extraordinarily intelligent, kind and supportive. They make me feel comfortable acting as a part of the team instead of someone shadowing or observing or trying not to get in the way. I also love working outdoors on the garden, getting to know the kids, and working with an organization that I feel is doing wonderfully important work.

What do you find challenging?

It is hard to stay energetic and motivated to be the best educator and intern throughout the 5 weeks of Farm Camp as it can be very tiring. I also found that I did not have enough time to explore other aspects of the organization as much as I had hoped for because my schedule filled up very quickly with Farm Camp.

What advice would you offer to someone who wants to make the most of an internship like yours?

Get to know the people you are working with! They are wonderful and have so much to offer. I learned a lot about gardening, educating, managing, job-searching, and social-justice issues from listening and engaging with the people I was working with and around. I got this internship through Tisch Summer Fellows.

About the Organization

Alexandria, Virginia

Arcadia is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a more equitable and sustainable local food system in the Washington, DC area. Based on the historic grounds of Woodlawn Estate in Alexandria, Virginia, thanks to a landmark partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Arcadia manages four distinct program areas that address a specific need in the community, while collectively engaging consumers, farmers, schools, and institutions. Arcadia Farm demonstrates environmentally and economically sustainable growing practices. The Mobile Market distributes fresh, affordable food to underserved DC-area neighborhoods. The Food Hub provides concrete services that support and advance local, sustainable farms. The Farm to School program connects schools with healthy, local food for school meals and provide hands-on food & farm education.