Final Thoughts

August Great Story by Laurel Smith, Sacramento Climate Fellow

Coming into CivicSpark I had no idea what to expect. I thought of it simply as a job and an interesting opportunity to gain experience and forward my career path. Little did I know that one of the greatest things I would gain out of it would be the friendships and network of like-minded yet extremely unique individuals I would meet along the way. In the last weeks of August I attended the Climate Action Planning Conference at SLO with a number of Fellows, for which many of them I can count on one hand the number of times we’ve had an in person conversation. Yet as we learned about climate initiatives and bonded at networking receptions there seemed to be an unspeakable bond between us as conversations flowed with ease. At CivicSpark Graduation we came together as a family filled with every type of personality. Every single Fellow has a different life story and background, with the one thing we share being this fellowship experience. I heard about people’s plans for the future including new jobs, grad school, and travel plans and I thought to myself, “How did I get here with all these amazingly talented and courageous individuals?”

Whether they know it or not, the people I have met this year have had a profound impact on my life from small to large ways including: making wiser food choices (thinking globally, eating locally!), being more politically active, taking adventurous risks, going for opportunities, and staying healthy both mentally and physically. As I enter my last month of service, saying goodbye to this cohort was harder than expected. My fellow Fellows have encouraged me to do better and be better, to fight for what I believe in, to go for new opportunities, to travel and take risks, and to continue learning and working for positive change in the world. I just want to say thank you.