August 4, 2014
Today’s Wellness Bulletin to you is my last. After serving two years as NCRPA’s first graduate assistant, this is my final week here. I would like to thank the three organizations that have made my time at NCRPA possible: NC State University, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation, and NCRPA, with special thanks to Dr. Dorothy Anderson, Dr. Myron Floyd, Jennifer MacDougall, and Michelle Wells. This assistantship has been an amazing opportunity to further my studies and gain hands-on experience working with parks and recreation professionals across North Carolina.
I have enjoyed writing these weekly emails to you, and I hope you have found them to be interesting and informative. I have also had the honor of connecting with many of you through the NCRPA Wellness Initiative. The Wellness Initiative turns one year old this month, and I am proud of what we have accomplished so far. In this first year, 20 agencies have adopted 22 wellness projects, many of which were made possible through the BCBSNC Foundation Healthy Eating Equipment Grants. We also have been able to provide free educational opportunities and resources, such as our Healthy Food Workshops, monthly Wellness Webinar series, and the online Wellness Toolkit. It is an exciting beginning, and I look forward to watching the Wellness Initiative grow (from afar) under the guidance of the next graduate assistant.
I have learned so much from this experience about wellness, parks and recreation in North Carolina, and NCRPA. Since I do not have a background in wellness, the research that I have done on wellness (and how parks and recreation agencies can promote it) taught me more about how integral what we do is to public health. And through getting to meet and talk with you about your jobs and experiences, I have a better understanding of the wide variety of local government park and recreation agencies, both in size and in the resources that they provide (often with very limited funds). Finally, I have more knowledge about NCRPA, and the tireless work Michelle, Matt, Wanda, and Board of Directors do to assist you and provide you with resources, workshops, potential funding, and other opportunities. They have been a pleasure with work with, and I appreciate the support they have given me and the Wellness Initiative.
My immediate plans for the future are to finish up my thesis and transition to full-time employment in parks and recreation in the Triangle, preferably working on open space acquisition and trail development. As an active member of NCRPA, I will continue to take advantage of the educational events and high quality benefits that this organization has to offer, and hope to see many of you at future conferences and workshops. My NCRPA email will be deactivated in the coming weeks, but if you would like to contact me, you will always be able to do so at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you so much for a wonderful two years, and for all that you do to serve this state and the profession.
Graduate Assistant, NC Recreation & Park Association
883 Washington St, Raleigh, NC 27605