If this is your first-time hearing from me, let me introduce myself before I say goodbye.
I have been interning with Blue Zones Project Dodge County since February. In May, I graduated from Moraine Park Technical College earning an associate of applied science in health and wellness. My passion is nutrition, so I will be continuing my education at University of Wisconsin-Stout this fall to pursue a master of science in dietetics.
Aside from school and work, I strive to learn new things each day. I love a great cup of coffee, even better with a friend or two, and I am always up for an adventure. When I have free time, I experiment in the kitchen with new recipes and enjoy reading books. But most importantly, I do my best to be kind to everyone.
When I first started working with Blue Zones Project, I had no idea what to expect. I jumped right in, trying to wrap my head around what it even was. I spent time learning the Blue Zones Project story, and immediately began engaging with the community. I was thrown into a variety of events, office work, cooking demonstrations, and more. If it weren’t for this internship, I wouldn’t have gained valuable knowledge or experience in my field of study.
Albert Einstein once said that “the only source of knowledge is experience.” I believe that is the key to success and a good life.
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My favorite part of Blue Zones Project is the Power 9—Down Shift, Know your Purpose, Right Tribe, 80% rule, Belong, Plant Slant, Move Naturally, Family First, and Friends @ Five. Everything that we do is based off these principles because they have been proven to be the key elements of longevity.
When we plan events, we target at least one of the Power 9 to ensure that we are properly educating the community. The coolest part is that there will always be something for everyone. The hardest part is reaching everyone. I have met so many people that will remain dear to me even as I move on; however, few have been my age. As a community, we need to work together to reach out to every age, gender, and race to be successful as one. I’m talking to the 25-year-olds and the 80-year-olds. I am also talking to all the 12-year-olds and everyone outside or in-between. It’s up to you, to me, to all of us, to create the world we want to live in. So get involved with your community and meet someone new. Try new things that put you outside your comfort zone. But above all, do things that bring you sustainable joy.
Here’s the surprising thing: I was born and raised right here in Dodge County and for the first time in all 20 years of my life, I feel connected with my community. I’ve gained remarkable skills through Blue Zones Project, but above all, I’ve made lasting friendships and memories with the place I will forever remember as my first home.
If I can give anyone a final piece of advice, this is it: Get comfortable being uncomfortable.
And of course, eat more vegetables.
Blue Zones Project is a community-led well-being initiative designed to make healthy choices easier through improvements to a city’s environment, policies, and social networks. Blue Zones Project is brought to Dodge County through sponsorship by Beaver Dam Community Hospitals a member of Marshfield Clinic Health Systems, in collaboration with Sharecare, Inc. and Blue Zones, LLC. Dodge County is the first Blue Zones Project demonstration site in the state. To For more information, call 920-392-9408, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit bluezonesproject.com.