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Karen Perez-Perez: Good to see different environments

My name is Karen Perez-Perez, I am a rising senior at South Campus, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College. Throughout my time working at Cooperative Extension, I learned many useful tools that will surely help me in life, things that I had no idea about such as with sheep, diseases and different aspects required with growing crops and being successful at it.

Of course, along with going out and seeing different environments, office work was incorporated — shredding boxes of paper was always a cause for great excitement. I also had the opportunity to work with children quite often, from teaching them to harvest, helping them decorate cakes, build robots, to teaching them to make piñatas and different snacks.

Summer Fun is a big program made of smaller camps that are led by different agents or volunteers. Planning it all out to perfection took a bit of time. However, it did provide many opportunities to learn such as seeing live owls and a hawk, the life of a butterfly and live bees.

I was also able to assist with Lunch and Learns that provided information regarding different topics involving food, such as being able to cut recipes down to smaller portions as well as grilling and cooking in a jar. It was followed by lunch, which is where the interns came in.

We would work during the morning to prepare this for all the participants. The meal, side and desert centered on the topic, which would involve not only cooking but also lots of food tasting and preparation. They were all very successful in the end.

Thursdays became a routine day, which included radio, where we would drive up to the radio station and speak about the different happenings at the office. Sometimes you knew you were going and had time to prepare; other times, you had to go on the spot so you had to figure out what to talk about quickly. It was a great experience to have and to just be able and say that you’ve been on the radio.

Something else that we put a lot of time into was making cooking video tutorials. We were all involved in the actual cooking, while I was specifically in charge of recording and sort of being videographer, making sure that it all looked good. I also had the task of editing the actual video clips, adding music, speeding some up and putting it all together into an actual tutorial that was understandable from the general public’s point of view.

This was the most time-consuming part, but I enjoy technology so I saw it more as a challenge and opportunity to improve my skills, rather than the time-consuming task that it was.

Overall, the internship at Rowan County Cooperative Extension gave me an opportunity to learn many new things, things I would never have learned or been exposed to had I not participated in this great learning experience.

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