‘Have the courage to share your dreams with those around you’ (Juliette Rizzo)

 Annita Brady is inspired by her experiences at the Department of Education.

Week three had the most amazing start and all because, I took the initiative. After finishing most of my tasks Monday morning, I went to see if there was anything I could do to make a start on a programme I will be working on, later in the summer. As it turned out, there was nothing to do on that front. However, the opportunity to help write part of the speech for one of the Directors at the Office of Communications and Outreach, at the Department of Education evoked feelings of both, apprehension and exhilaration, simultaneously! Director of Conference Services and Agency-wide Outreach, Juliette, asked myself and two of the other interns about our strengths and, if I’m honest, before the words left my lips I was regretting that I had said, I was good at writing. What was I thinking?! I was now knees deep, in a task which required me to write part of the introduction and conclusion for a very important speech, which this lady was going to give to some of the most influential organisation leaders in America! Then she told us the title, ‘Building leaders through diversity: Taking it to the next level’ and in that instant, all that fear melted away and was replaced by overwhelming passion.

This was exactly what the WIP class of 2012 is all about, I was meant to help with this project. I was determined to give it my all and I did, completing part of the speech in less than three hours, a great accomplishment for someone like me, who procrastinates for two days before writing a single word, for a college assignment. The feeling of achievement was compounded by the words of gratitude and praise from Juliette. However, it was her words of advice, which were most inspiring and sent me skipping home that evening. She asked each of us interns, what are dreams are and reminded us how important it is, to have the courage to share our visions with others, because they can help us fulfil these dreams and aspirations. She also shared another very profound message about the power that each of us, as individuals, have to help others fulfil their visions, and to help them through the door with us. This leads me to the end of the week and to how we, the class of 2012 did just that, helped others along the way, while on the path to achieving our dreams. We did this Saturday morning at the DC Central kitchen, where we helped prepare the food for up to 4,000 people who avail of shelters around DC. It was a truly humbling experience and a real lesson in teamwork as we chopped, sliced and diced hundreds of tomatoes and cucumbers.

So a lot learned in week three. Contorted peppers are almost impossible to cut and we are all actors in the dreams of others!

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