The Adventures are Just Beginning

It’s difficult to write this blog post. I can hardly believe it’s already April 2017. In less than two months, it will have been a year since I left Princeton. I’ll also be nearing the end of my fellowship. As jarring as these facts are, they’re not particularly surprising. Time flies, especially when you are constantly in motion–covering stories for WSHU Public Radio, attending retreats with my amazing cohort, exploring in Connecticut and New York.

Yet there’s a cost that comes with this breathlessness. We forget to reflect on our work, our relationships, our present and how they might impact our future. This is what happened to me when I graduated. Endless ceremonies, packing boxes, romping around campus. By the time I had picked up my life and moved to Connecticut, I couldn’t believe how fast it had all happened.

So I decided not to make the same mistake twice.

As I reflected on my time with WSHU, Newman’s Own and my cohort, I experienced a wild mix of emotions. But the most prominent one was gratitude. I am grateful for my time with WSHU. I have learned so much from my colleagues there–not only on how to be an effective journalist, but how to genuinely connect with the communities we serve. Journalists may not be public servants per se, but I believe our responsibility to the public is just as great–and just as critical. Thus, I’m also immensely grateful to all the people I’ve crossed roads with while reporting. People who have trusted me to tell their story and get it right.

I also owe much to the Newman’s Own Foundation. They’ve been the catalyst for this entire experience. And while they could have placed us at our host organizations and said “arrivederci” (that one’s for Elisa!) until closing ceremonies, they did not. In fact, they did the exact opposite. We’ve had countless retreats, conferences, lunches–all which have helped me grow both professionally and personally, and be mindful of my place in philanthropy and service.

Finally, I am grateful to my fellow Newman’s Own Foundation fellows. I’m not sure what kind of alchemy Diana and Rey used when they were choosing us, but they could not have put together a more dynamic group of people. We are all different in small yet important ways. Our personalities vary, our career goals are different, we come from different places and walks of life. But from day one, we’ve been tied together for greater reasons. Our love of humanity and dedicating ourselves to improving it, a strong sense of justice and equity, our light hearted spirits that are counterbalanced with our very grandiose hopes for the future.

Thank you for being the incredible people you are and inspiring me to do the same. Thank you for never letting me doubt myself. And thank you for standing by my side throughout this journey, every step of the way. Our time with Newman’s Own Foundation might be coming to a close, but I know our adventures together are just beginning.

-Lea

The featured image is of me in my office!