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AKA Intern Spotlight: 3 Lessons Learned in 2022

AKA interns are people from diverse backgrounds and communities who are interested in evaluation, design, research, and public health. Our interns teach us about community, youth, and culture. I believe that AKA’s investment in interns is one way that we build community capacity and sustainability of projects, long after contracts or programs end. Jurnie Crawford is an enrolled member of the Fort Peck Tribes and attends Brigham Young University. We asked Jurnie to write about 2022, her words are a good reminder that we are always learning and growing as individuals and as a team.


Image of young women
Jurnie Crawford

The new year brings a lot of reflection. I am reflecting on the good, the bad, and the growth. Through conversations, I've learned this past year was different for everyone. Some had the worst year of their lives, some the most growth happened, and others a lot of changes occurred. It reminds me that no matter what your year has looked like, always remember you never really know what someone else is experiencing and reflecting on their year may bring more pain than joy.

This past year for me I experienced so many things for the first time. I had the most growth mentally, physically and spiritually than I have before. Although that is amazing, it was also very stretching and at times not easy. Through it all I learned so many vital life lessons I don't know how I have lived this long without them. I want to share three with you.

3 Lessons I Have Learned in 2022

1. You can only really compare yourself to your past self.

Progress or even regression can and should only be compared to your past self. There are so many influences in this world, so many people telling us who and what we should be and do and, everyone is different. We can't be each other; we are in charge of ourselves, we can't rely on others to rank who we are. We need to do that for ourselves and the only thing we should compare ourselves to is our past self. When we start doing that, we can see more fully the strength and capability we have to overcome all.

2. You are responsible to let others know how you feel.

Others aren't responsible for your feelings, you are. You are also responsible for communicating your feelings to others because no one is a mind reader and can’t help you if you don't share how you feel. This is one of the best things I think I was able to experience this year. It was so empowering to be able to finally find enough confidence in myself to share how I felt even if it caused inconvenience or sacrifice on others. You are worth Inconvenience and sacrifice; you are worth tough conversations and being heard and taking up space. Honestly, from what I have learned, for the most part others want to help you, they want to serve you and they want to know how you feel but can't until you share your thoughts.

3. Through it all we have a Creator who loves unconditionally.

The Creator is with us and knows us and yearns for our success and happiness! Our Creator wants to do anything possible to help us feel joy, we just need to reach out and let the Creator work in our lives and then we need to look for it because it is all around us all the time.

Throughout this year I have come to know many things and have made many new relationships and am eager to bring all of that into 2023 with more to learn. I wish you the best and hope you can get all you desire in goodness.



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