After I became a member of IMPACT and had an “aha moment,” realizing that I can in fact influence things in my community, I realized that it isn’t just about people in power (people holding public office or who have a lot of money), but that if you have a can-do attitude, anything is possible even if it seems impossible.
Let me give you an example. I had the privilege of studying in Washington, D.C. for a semester. I graduated from Northwestern College (Iowa, USA), and during the time I was there I studied in Washington, D.C. and interned at the International Center for Religion and Diplomacy. At the Center they had 3 interns, and the other 2 were from Ivy League schools. They were really, really smart. Technically, they were just as competent as me – probably more competent – and really bright people. [The organization] needed people to go to different events in town, schedule events, manage research projects, etc. The other interns knew how to write really well and research really well, but one thing I always found myself doing was going out in the field and meeting people. It was simply because [the boss] would go through the office and say “Who wants to take on this project?” and people would look at each other and say, “I don’t really know how to do that, so I’m not very comfortable doing that.” And I think that thanks to my experience in IMPACT I was able to say yes – because there were a lot of things I wasn’t comfortable doing at the beginning in Romania!
[When my internship ended] my boss said that was what they appreciated the most from me – that no task was too large or too small. I could do anything because I applied myself to it. And I already had this framework, which I think I learned at IMPACT – the framework of problem-solving. I think about things differently because of IMPACT. I felt confident doing that job because there were so many projects I did with IMPACT over the years. And these skills are what I learned from IMPACT, and they’ll stick with me forever. It’s about being able to change your own destiny but also help others in all sorts of ways, whatever their needs are.