Student Interns with Louisville Metro Government
METRO GOVERNMENT INTERN HELPING OUR COMMUNITY
By Stuart Esrock, Ph.D.
Bardstown senior Audry Schaefer probably never imagined that she would be doing incredibly important work for our community when she committed to an internship with Louisville Metro Government. The Communication major is continuing her internship with the Metro Office of Resilience and Community Services, even as the coronavirus pandemic sweeps through the city, state, and nation.
Schaefer is involved in developing communication materials about coronavirus relief and the office’s ongoing senior nutrition program. According to Schaefer, “Our work now seems more focused on providing emergency relief and helping our citizens survive, whereas we are normally trying to help them thrive.”
Schaefer said things were fairly normal in the office before spring break but soon thereafter rapidly changed. “I took the week off and came back into chaos - everyone was scrambling to come up with action plans, phones were ringing nonstop, and everyone was stressed and unsure of what was to come. Now, things are quieter as many of our office staff have been telecommuting, but the situation is still hectic.”
The situation has taught the Communication major an important work-related lesson. “This experience has helped me learn to manage stress in a productive way. Instead of freaking out and breaking down, remaining calm, proactive, helpful, and respectful will put you miles ahead of those who aren’t.” But she also says it has been instructive at the personal level. “I believe this experience has allowed me to reset my brain and reassess my values. In times of crisis, the most important thing a person can do is stop thinking about themselves and start thinking of ways to help others and unite for greater change.”
Audry Schaefer is just one of many UofL students who are continuing to do important work that is helping our community in this time of crisis. Thanks to you Audry and these other students for doing what you are doing! If you know of other students doing this important work, drop an email to Stuart Esrock because we can all take pride in these important stories.