My Valley Vison Experience in One Word
I am grateful to have been Valley Vision’s Communications Intern since January 2018. Grateful to work alongside people dedicated to their work. Grateful to deepen my appreciation and love of my region. Grateful to grow my skillset with a nonprofit whose mission is aligned with my own. Grateful that I’m now prepared for my next step in life.
The team guided me and shaped me: Understanding that Adrian adds an exclamation point to make anything more exciting, and that Robyn will catch any spelling or grammar error that I threw at her, assured me that I was in a space where we took care of business. Days of having dogs in the office, the steady stream of Philz Coffee, and being offered helpings of Yzabelle and Sonia’s food kept my heart and stomach full.
Chloe was patient with me when I struggled with program design, showing me that others will help me, but I need to help myself first. Alan’s quiet confidence and one-liner jokes was something I tried so hard to emulate. Seeing firsthand how hard everyone worked, but then how willingly we would play along with an office joke or conversation was the balance I needed to keep me motivated.
I deepened my appreciation for my hometown and heightened awareness of the surrounding counties: I’ve always been proud of being from Sacramento. While living in the Bay Area and Stockton, I proudly reminded people that I was from Sacramento. Curating content for our five monthly newsletters has showed me all of the great work that people are doing to improve the region. Small establishments are making huge impacts, like the Yisrael Family Farm in Oak Park which teach residents about agriculture, and CleanStart, which helps clean technology startups share their work and secure funding.
There are countless other people and organizations who work tirelessly to make sure the region is a place where everyone can live comfortably. The people create the direction for the region, and have spoken loudly. We care about one another.
Valley Vision took a gamble on me, but it paid dividends: When I accepted my role at Valley Vision, I had managed social media accounts for City Year Sacramento, and championed newsletter efforts at St. HOPE – not exactly expansive knowledge of communications. I did not have a degree in Communications, Public Relations, Graphic Design, or a related field. What I did have was a curiosity and unwavering commitment to never stop learning. Those qualities are what helped me overcome what I lacked in formal education. Gratitude and curiosity fueled my first few months as I learned platforms like MailChimp and WordPress, and kicked up our social media activity.
After building proficiency and confidence, and learning the working styles of my teammates, I gained traction. Curating 50+ newsletters, growing our Twitter reach by over 750%, and developing rapport with staff members to create content, I elevated the external awareness of Valley Vision greatly. Taking cues from Bill, Trish, Christine, and Adrian, I found a way to leverage my enthusiasm and turn it into irrefutable growth.
Growth and opportunity: My next step is to be determined. Staying in Sacramento and continuing to make my hometown and the region I love a place where everyone can live and thrive is of the utmost importance to me. Nonprofits do this work. Government agencies do this work. Schools do this work. The private sector does this work. I do this work.
Ruben Moody has been a Valley Vision Communications Intern since January 24th, 2018.