My first step into a larger world

Hello there! I have completed my first week officially as an LHIP intern for Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site! Training week! Well it has not been all fun and excitement- I have been doing a lot of reading (A LOT) about NPS and its network. I would have liked doing this at the park, but we all know due to recent events (Covid-19) most interns were limited in this years’ experience. Many of us are working from home and only a handful just recently started to get to their sites. Nonetheless, this has not made me unenthusiastic with my work. To add to that excitement, I met my supervisor virtually! I can honestly say the interpretation and Education Division at Hopewell Furnace is in the care of an amazing supervisor, Neil Koch. He sent me a package in the mail, with many materials I needed for my first week of training. He even sent me a Junior Ranger badge that made me feel like a true park ranger! He has been extremely organized following a work plan and has provided me with the resources and much-needed guidance with my upcoming assignments. He also coordinated a call with the site manager, David Blackburn, an experienced supervisor, leader, and communicator. The takeaway from this first week: the importance of “small” but mighty park. From its history to the culture that it harnesses, Hopewell Furnace is a gem among others, its small community and “skeleton crew” preserve its main attractions including a small animal farm, charcoal making, natural resources and historic buildings. Hopewell is a snapshot of history itself; it is one of the first territories that helped Americas Industrialization process. 

You may think “its just history” and that’s exactly what it is. I recognize an unexposed person like me could not see the actual value of a park like this. I appreciated it but did not have the tools to value the history, the people, and the experience. I have made it my new mission to relay what I have learned and reach out to smaller and diverse communities, offer the opportunity to spark the interest of history in the children of Latino communities. As obvious as it may sound, there’s a lot to learn in Hopewell Furnace. I think now more than ever people should get out of their daily routines and explore what is often overlooked and taken for granted. I want to go out there and talk about the pillar of iron-works in America, about the village, the history of the Hopewell Furnace Historical Site!

p.s. This is my first internship and I would like to highlight the amazing support I’ve received from my supervisor. This has made a world of difference in my experience. Not only as a mentor, also in a spiritual level he has encouraged me to express myself and be the Educator I am destined to be. I am starting this journey with fresh eyes and an open mind and my primordial goal here is to learn. Learn about the system and how it works, learn about the people and how they manifest themselves, about the world and why are some wonders hidden from the conciseness of society. I am taking my first step into a larger world and I cant wait to let my presence be known with a guide like Neil. 

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