“They inspire you, they entertain you, and you end up learning a ton even when you don’t know it” –Nicholas Sparks
Okay, I just quoted Nicholas Sparks. I am completely aware of how embarrassing and cheesy and pre-teen girl that is. But it is a good quote, and one that fits well with my post this week.
Working for Noble Impact this summer has been my honor. I ended up here by some bizarre twist of fate and association. I have been the pawn of intern-hopscotch, jumping from office-to-office, advisor-to-advisor, and position-to-position. In the dizzy of new duties and new assignments I acquired more than just a longer to-do list, I was blessed with the gift of phenomenal mentors.
Chad Williamson and Katie Milligan have become more than just bosses to me. Being the three full-time staff located in Little Rock has meant frequent and lengthy meetings, more Boulevard Bread Company than any person should consume, and phone calls, emails, texts, tweets, and telegraphs at all hours of the night.
But they’ve given me so much more than letters to edit and blogs to write. In the craziness that ensued this summer Chad and Katie have taught me what passionate collaboration looks like. They have validated my work ethic, abilities, and strengths. They have given me confidence in my voice, as well as pushed me to speak louder.
They have been my biggest advocates while simultaneously challenging my thoughts every step of the way. They involved me in the conversations interns only expect to hear between dropping off coffee and making copies.
And that is the most precious and meaningful thing Katie and Chad have done.
They never once treated me like just an intern. They invested their time and energy into making sure I met the right people, attended important events, and always introduced me as one of the team, never the temporary and replaceable college kid.
Everyday with Chad and Katie was legitimately fun and simultaneously rich with priceless content. And I was never pushed outside of the ring to just observe, I was always a part of the dialogue, my opinions were valued, and my hard work acknowledged. They never once second-guessed my abilities, even when I was utterly clueless.
Now I’m here, 3 months and 1 internship later, and the lessons I’ve learned this summer are starting to come into focus.
Katie and Chad taught me a lot. As Katie has said on multiple occasions, they “threw me to the wolves” quite often. But they always had confidence in my ability to figure it out. And I think that is really what Noble Impact is all about—believing in young minds.
“We believe every student is a genius.” I cannot tell you how many times Chad has dropped that line. But I’m here to testify that the Noble Impact team genuinely believes it.
It’s in their actions. It’s in the way they trust organic learning. It’s in the way they treated our Noble Scholars. It’s in the way they treated this intern.
I hope my time with Noble Impact is just beginning, and I cannot imagine this internship is the end of my journey with Chad and Katie, but if for some unforeseen reason it is, at least I will leave with one startlingly rewarding truth:
I got to be a genius, even if only for one summer. And I can never thank Chad or Katie enough for that gift.
Until next time,