Chosen Families

I have had a hard time sitting down and writing this post. It’s incredible to think about how quickly—and how slowly—this year has moved. This will be my last post as a Newman’s Own Foundation fellow. I am wrapping up my year as the Volunteer and Community Outreach Coordinator at Daily Table. I am both nervous and excited to see where the rest of 2017 takes me.

When I left Oberlin, I left my chosen family. I moved to a new(ish) city, far away from the friendships that carried me through my undergrad years. I wondered what my support system would look like in Boston, where I couldn’t walk down the street to my friend’s house or meet up with someone after a hard day in the library. Little did I know that I’d end up with a deep connection to 12 other fellows and an incredible adviser to make the transition into “real adulthood” smooth and manageable.

As someone at the beginning of her journey within the public service sector, I’ve found it hard to feel as though my work is contributing to making the world a better place. Being connected to such an inspiring group of people my age reminds me that our current situation isn’t hopeless. I think back specifically to an exercise where we all visualized ourselves ten years from now: 12 different visions of a future positively impacted kindness, empathy, and determination. I don’t know how NOF managed to foster such a close relationship between us despite our placements all over the east coast (and Italy!), but the mix of workshops, speakers, and conversations around the dinner table have resulted in a bond that I’m excited to carry with me into my next position.

As I reflect on this year, I am incredibly grateful to be exactly where I am: in Dorchester, the place where I was born but have only returned to with the start of my placement at Daily Table. I’m grateful for the incredible people I’ve met and learned from in our store, in the office, and in the community. I’m especially grateful to the Newman’s Own Foundation for curating such an amazing fellowship program. To the next class of fellows: Congratulations! You’ve got a fantastic year to look forward to.


In the featured photo, Bettina (on the right) and I (on the left) are cooking up some yummy food for the dinner the Fellows cooked at Newman’s Own back in December!