Summer of Flint’s frontlines continues with Gina Kim
This blog is the second weekly installment in an exclusive contribution to TheHUB by two college students participating in the annual Diplomat Fellowship for Social Impact. The series examines their impressions, observations and input while serving Flint in various capacities that aim to fulfill the goal of making positive community change. But how much change can even the most talented scholars and fellows make in just a few weeks of summer, and how can change be measured? Lindsay Baywol and Gina Kim share their thoughts.
Living in the Moment
By Gina Kim
I feel like I arrived at Flint’s Bishop International Airport just last week. When I got here I was told my internship would fly by. This has proven true. Each week seems faster than the last, and it’s becoming a challenge to not let the weeks blend together.
When I was younger my mother told me to live in the moment and not worry about the future. As a Diplomat Fellow, this advice is incredibly important.
Understanding how your work will exist once you’re gone can be sobering. It can be difficult to accept that a project you poured your heart and soul into won’t be yours anymore. Even so, it is important that the project continues.
Creating sustainable systems and strategies for others is about more than just getting the work done. It’s about communicating to others the importance and nuances of these systems and strategies.
For me, the bigger picture is ensuring that, when I leave, others can build upon what I have created.
Through my work at Skypoint Ventures, I have been given every opportunity to grow. When there is a project I find interesting, I am encouraged to see what I can do with it. Whether that means looking at legal paperwork or creating a marketing strategy, I can fail quickly and then pick myself up – in these projects I often feel that I don’t have all the answers. To find solutions, I have taken an online course, asked for the support of teammates, and looked to the advice of the Diplomat Fellowship coordinator. While solving the next problem, I find that staying focused on the bigger picture becomes difficult.
For me, the bigger picture is ensuring that, when I leave, others can build upon what I have created. Sustainability has been emphasized since my first interview for the Fellowship Program.
Diplomat’s commitment to ensuring the practicality of its work has made the biggest difference to me. I often get caught up in the weeds of a project. Being constantly encouraged to think of the bigger picture and centering my efforts on the “why” of my work has challenged me to grow.
The “why” of my work has always been to make a difference. Although I might not have fully understood what making a difference meant when I first landed in Flint, I now see it as encouraging those around me to think differently and to learn from others and their viewpoints. This has meant everything from understanding what an open house is to learning how the Flint community functions. As my Fellowship flies by, I continue to focus on the larger impact of my work and the community I hope to help make a little bit better.
See more of TheHUB’s Frontlines series: