Meet Our Intern Meredith!
We have a generous, talented high schooler interning at Manna this month. Among her long-lasting contributions to Manna, she is a skilled writer. So I’m just going to have her introduce herself in her own eloquent words…
My name is Meredith Barber, and I’m the new intern for the Nutrition Department at Manna, under Jenna Umbriac and Lindsey Seegers. This fall, I will be a junior at Walt Whitman High School. I love learning about Nutrition, helping people in need, and practicing my Spanish, so this job feels perfect for me! So far, I’ve made a presentation about staying healthy in the summertime that Manna clients can watch while waiting in line for their food, and I’m looking forward to any other upcoming adventures in store for me here at Manna. Bring it on!
As a Girl Scout, I have done many projects to help people who are homeless or in need of other help. I earned the Gold Award (the Girl-Scout equivalent to the Eagle Scout Award of Boy Scouts) last school year, and I formulated my project to tie in with those same three core service interests that sparked my attraction to working at Manna (nutrition, helping the needy, and speaking Spanish). For my project, I designed four differently-themed nutrition sessions at Stepping Stones Shelter in Rockville. Each themed evening included a nutrition demonstration and lesson, as well as dinner. Branching out to families in need of nutrition and food assistance is a rewarding experience, especially when children are involved. One night, I even stayed after my session for an hour to help a first-grade girl do a homework packet.
Walt Whitman said, “When I give, I give myself.” I really think about why I’m here at Manna — for the people needing help even more than for myself– and I understand the value of service. I give my all, not for an award or for a boost on my résumé, but for the service’s intended purpose of promoting a sense of community.
At Manna, the sense of community is strong. On my first day, employees and clients greeted me with handshakes, and a few days later, everyone seemed to know my name! I feel so honored to help create an ever-growing network of equals willing to share the community and be a resource to fellow community members in need, and every day when I walk into the Manna office, I’m inspired by the faces of everybody around me to try hard to make a difference in the community. What better way exists to do so than to pursue some of your own interests?