NONPROFIT MANAGEMENT

TARAH FITZGERALD - UNITED WORKERS, WEEK 6

When I was in 7th grade I got Lyme Disease. It took 6 months to find and as a result my mind wanders and my short term memory is nearly non-existent. Forgetting names and faces has been something that I have gotten used to. Memories of entire conversations, even people, have been easily wiped from my memory numerous times and I have accepted this as a reality I must face. This challenge has never been so apparent as it is now, having 6 weeks completed at my placement. Working as an intern at United Workers, I am assisting experienced community organizers in a way that feels far more independent than I had imagined. I am a direct contact for several projects and am a face of partnership in the Remington community. I am privileged to have this role, however with it comes great responsibility. As a community organizer certain skills are essential to do the job well. You have to be respectful, have to be an attentive listener, and you most certainly have to remember who you met, talked to, and what the content of that conversation was. I have been approached and have approached several people now that, as a professional in my field, I would have had to have remembered or recognized. However, community organizing also requires meeting and talking with hundreds of people. Mix this requirement with my Lyme Disease side effects and you would think it would be a recipe for disaster. However, despite my few embarrassing encounters, I believe I have finally started to develop skills to combat these challenges and still succeed in my job. I am starting to remember more faces, and continue old conversation with more ease. I have grown to be more confident in my ability to overcome this challenge I have faced for nearly 8 years. I am slowly breaking down the walls of my perceived reality to find that my bounds are far more reaching than I could have imagined.