Alexander Voisine is a rising sophomore at Holyoke Community College studying Environmental Science. Growing up in Belchertown, he was connected to nature from a young age, exploring the forests and natural areas around his home. Later, he passed on his love for nature to younger students in the Ecomentors program at Belchertown High School. Alec plans to continue his education at UMass Amherst, exploring his interests in the natural sciences and education.
While at Eagle Eye, Alec developed a lesson on aquatic ecology with his fellow intern Jenna Shea and took the lead on designing and constructing interpretive signs for a collaborative intern project.
Below is Alexander’s reflection on the 2020 internship program.
This opportunity taught me a lot about myself and nature, as well as how to bring the experience of nature to others. I plan to bring a lot home with me when I leave. For starters, I plan to bring home the dairy-free part of the diet. I was surprised how well my body felt after a transition to this new way of eating! While we’ve been here, we’ve acquired many new skills, as well as developed existing ones. Working on the deck for the cabin, for instance, allowed me to gain hands-on skills with tools I don’t use very often.
There is one last thing I’ll take home with me that I’ve discovered while I’ve been here. I stepped out of my car a different person than I am today. I had an idea for my life, but no real sense of direction. As I spent time here, I began to see myself differently, thanks to Cass and my fellow interns. With the feedback they gave me, as well as taking time to reflect, I was able to discover new skills I never knew I had, and I learned to trust myself and my goals. I now plan to explore school and careers with this new confidence and these uncovered skills.
Being out in nature for three weeks has allowed me to reflect on myself and learn to trust my skills and knowledge. I also found that teaching and the environment are both things I enjoy and plan to investigate education and careers in that direction. This internship is very valuable for college students. It can teach you new skills, hone existing ones, give you a new perspective on yourself, and provide a feeling of community.