December Great Story by Sierra Huffman, 2018-19 North Coast Climate Fellow

Count Down 
Dancing in the night, 
Before the year comes to an end, 
Rewind the clock,
To where the month began,
Nose to the grindstone, 
And face towards the screen, 
Researching, 
Accounting, 
And writing summaries, 
I know so much more,
Than I did at the start
All the months hard work 
Has carried me here,
Dancing till the start,
of a brand-new year.
5
4
3
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1

Story Time:
This job hasn’t always been easy. It’s hard to manage a meager stipend, to push yourself to act with inexperienced professionalism, and to pass on knowledge that you yourself have just learned. For someone as shy as I am, simply communicating with my co-workers and supervisors was one of the hardest parts. I’ve embarrassed myself, sent poorly written emails, and performed faulty mathematics. Yet, despite the setbacks I’ve gained a sense of confidence to the likes of which I’ve never had before. I’ve learned quickly, created tasks, collected resources, and gained a new passion for renewable energy. 

About a month ago I was hit by a strong emotion and I thought to myself, “what I am I doing here?” This thought occurred to me, not because I was failing but because I was succeeding. I’ve spent most of my time in Humboldt County mucking my way through entry level jobs, making sandwiches, running registers, and washing dishes. Because of CivicSpark and RCEA, I have a chance to get out of Humboldt and create a new life for myself. Goals that once appeared like distant dreams now seem like attainable realities. It’s exciting and new to me. I’ve started perfecting my career plan. I signed up to take the GRE on Valentine’s day 2019, began corresponding with a scientific journalist, and started looking for jobs. I hope to find work building capacity for renewable energy projects in other countries and writing, in addition to, pursuing my masters and eventually becoming a professor. I want to experience the world while making a difference. I feel confident that I can get there. For the time being I have plenty to work on, not seeming so shy, slam dunking a 4-hour test, creating a rocking resume/cover letter, and doing the best job I can at RCEA. I’m proud of what I do and excited to pursue what I could be doing. Cheers to a grand 2019, may it bring us all success, joy, and all that cheesy goodness! 

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