By Abigail Blake, Member Engagement & Public Policy Intern
I am not sure that it has hit me yet that this is my last week interning at Lutheran Services in America. Next Monday, I will not put on my badge; I will not get on the Metro. I will not get to walk past the Capitol Building, Library of Congress or the Supreme Court. It will no longer matter that I can give someone directions to the Dirksen Senate Office Building or tell them where the best food trucks are. My desk will belong to a different intern and I will be back in the Midwest finishing up my degree at Valparaiso University.
And while that has not hit me yet, what has hit me is all of the aspects of Lutheran Services in America that I will miss. I will miss working with such a welcoming staff. A staff that has invited me to lunch on my first day and included me in staff meetings, self-advocacy trainings, and celebrations. I will miss feeling connected to this small community; a community that strives to help its members in any way it can. Working with a staff that respects each other and works together is a blessing. The’ all hands on deck’ mentality is important and I appreciated finding it at LSA.
I will take a lot with me when I leave LSA. I will take with me the skills to create policy sheets for Senators and Congressmen and the ability to help out with a self-advocacy training. I will take with me the knowledge that understanding politics and being informed and active is important for nonprofits. I will be able to work on some of the less glamorous or more tedious tasks with more humility, understanding that database work is just as important as meetings and presentations. Since I have been at Lutheran Services in America, I have learned that this is a team effort. Everyone has some of the more interesting work and some of the tedious but necessary work. Work is not above or below you and that is a humility I will take with me when I leave.
I am leaving LSA more politically aware, grounded and experienced. I am heading back to the Midwest with the knowledge that I still have a lot to learn but I am still much more prepared than I was three months ago. So I would like to dedicate the last bit of my blog post to the wonderful people in this office. To Alesia, TJ and Kim, (the Membership Engagement team) that took the time to invest in me and kept me busy and constantly learning. Thank you for always checking up on me and making me a part of the team.
To Sarah and Lindsey for always keeping me in the loop on advocacy and policy work going on. This was a side of nonprofit work that I had not seen and I was very excited to be exposed to it. To Tania, Natalie and Liliana (the Communications team) thank you for showing me more about communications and always being open to giving me projects and inviting me in on editorial meetings. To Charlotte, thank you for meeting with me and teaching me more about LSA as an organization. And to Bola and Debbie, even though I did not work one on one with you often, thank you for making me feel like a welcome member of the team.
I will miss you all, thank you for helping me learn and making LSA feel like home!
Editor’s note: Abbi we will miss you! You’ve been a bright and eager addition to our team this semester, and we know you’ll do great things wherever you are. Thank you for your service to Lutheran social ministry and the LSA network.