During her Freshman year at Drew University, Mason Scher was on the hunt for an appropriate organization to fulfill her required 100 volunteer hours that would also spark her interest. In speaking with friends, she discovered that GSWA offers environmentally-based internships. Over the years, GSWA has provided internships to dozens of bright, environmentally-minded college students.
Mason was admittedly nervous when she started this past September, yet she was excited to learn new skills. “From day one, she jumped right into her work, taking on any challenges that came her way,” said Hazel England, GSWA Director of Education and Outreach, and Land Steward. “One day she was face painting at the Great Swamp Refuge Fall Fest, the next day she was standing in front of a group of students, teaching them what she had just learned herself only days prior.”
When talking with Mason just before she left, she gave us some insight into her internship experience:
What skills did you learn?
- Working fast and figuring things out on the fly.
- The ability to talk with many different people, like at the gala.
What were your biggest challenges?
- I don’t really see things as challenges. I’m presented with a task, and I figure out how to get it done. If I had to pick something, I’d say that as a Sophomore, I haven’t completed a lot of my upper level courses that may have helped me along the way.
What were your big takeaways?
- It turns out I love teaching – I didn’t see that coming!
- I always enjoyed working outside; this internship solidified that.
- GSWA is a multi-faceted organization that accomplishes so much with a relatively small group of people.
Mason is working towards her double major in Environmental Science and Chemistry, and is also a member of the Civic Scholarship Program. Her plan is to become a Geochemist, working for the government, studying global climate systems from a molecular perspective. Now that’s specialized! We feel fortunate to have benefited from Mason’s bright mind and energetic, can-do spirit, while helping her gain the practical skills she will need in her journey to reach these very impressive goals!
After the winter break, Mason will again return to GSWA as an intern to complete her required 100 hours of volunteer work. As she was leaving for break, she said, “Everyone has been so welcoming and helpful. GSWA is a wonderful organization. I loved working here, and look forward to coming back next semester!”