About two years ago, while I was raking leaves at the Butterfly Cottage, a visitor stopped to talk. The visitor was the Career Liaison for the Tamalpais Unified School District. He came by to see if the Center was interested offering internships to high school students. This was fortuitous, as I had just been wondering how I could reach students to volunteer here. “Yes, please,” I replied.
This watercolor of the Butterfly Cottage was painted by a talented intern!
Well, it wasn’t long before students began arriving, two at a time, for four hours a week for three months, from Archie Williams, Redwood, and Tam high schools. Unbeknownst to me, the students shared their experience with teachers and other students, and word spread that MAGC was a good place to intern and volunteer. Now we help students fulfill community service requirements as well as interning.
Another intern enjoyed arranging flowers, which we displayed in the WERKSTATT Pop-Up.
I try to follow each student’s interests and find work that suits them. Fortunately we have no shortage of interesting work.
These young people bring a positive attitude, and a sense of adventure and earnestness. They are willing to work and learn. Each of them has a unique skill set they share with us, and often, I learn as much from them as they do from me.
Recently, a friend was complaining about “kids these days.” I stopped him to tell him that I have hope for the future of our world because of the young people I’ve worked with; because of my sons and their friends. Giving young people a positive adult role model creates positive adults. We may be doing garden work, but we are also doing life work.