Tulane VISTA Blog

Fighting Poverty with Passion

Righting the Ship – Moving Forward at the Cowen Institute

The last few months of work at Cowen Institute have been very up and down. This past month began with our Executive Director, John Ayers stepping down from his post. John is a really nice guy and he made me feel welcome when I came aboard, so it was sad to see him go. As I mentioned last month, much of my work has been delayed or changed in some way. I’ve had to learn that some things are out of my control, and that “managing up” is not always possible. Instead of fretting about the macro-level changes in my organization, I have switched my mindset to try and focus on the things that are in my control.

One of my main charges lately has been the recruitment of interns for next Spring for both the Cowen Institute office and the Upward Bound office Uptown. I had a great time tabling at the CPS Internship Fair in Tulane’s student center, and ended up getting tons of sign-ups for more information about interning at Tulane’s Upward Bound.

Spreading the knowledge on internships. VISTA-friend Merry pictured here putting in work to my left.

Spreading the knowledge on internships. VISTA-friend Merry pictured here putting in work to my left.

I have also been on top of coordinating interviews for the prospective interns for the Cowen Institute office. We have exciting projects in the Spring for our awesome candidates including piecing together a massive timeline on public education in New Orleans for our website and supporting the development of our next State of Public Education in New Orleans. Some last minute applicants threatened my planning sanity but I chose to allow some late submissions. I know I’ve benefited from the kindness of others in similar situations, so it wasn’t too hard to extend the opportunity to a few others.

As I move into 2015, I hope to be able to tackle some larger scale projects like a new website, Cowen Institute’s second annual career day and more. Some of these bigger decisions might be out of my hands, but I can choose to work towards other things I hope to do, such as get more involved with our fantastic Earn and Learn program and work on collaborating with other motivated people and organizations around New Orleans. Sometimes the pace of work is slow, and other times it seems to all come at once, but whatever the future holds, I am optimistic about the work I will be a part of at Cowen Institute.

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This entry was posted on December 9, 2014 by in VISTA Field Reports.

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