From a Farm Field to a Community Issue of Poverty, Students are Discovering Their God-Given Skills
by Danielle Barton (B.A. ’19)
College is a student's time to discover and explore who they are and what talents God has uniquely gifted them with. Through intentional exploration and involvement, students learn who God has called them to be. Various experiences, such as an internship, create valuable steps toward helping students further discover their God-given skills, talents and potential to help further serve our society.
One student exploring God's calling this summer through an internship is Moriah Wilke (B.S. ’19). She is currently pursing a degree in business administration with a minor in chemistry. Moriah serves as a dairy intern at Indian Trail Dairy Farm. Indian Trail is a third generation, family-owned and -operated farm in Byron Center, Mich., and currently milks around 725 Holstein cows.
As an intern at Indian Trail, Moriah is responsible for supporting daily farm operations. This includes preparing and administering vaccinations to the cows, feeding the calves, observing heifer activity, assisting in artificial insemination and rounding up cows to move to different areas on the farm, along with accomplishing any other task that presents itself.
"The goal of my internship is to become comfortable in the dairy setting as well as with handling the animals correctly and learning how to read their behaviors to be able to act accordingly," Moriah explained. "The experience is equipping me with knowledge and understanding of the career path I am pursuing, which is large animal veterinary science."
Moriah set the scene as she talked about her favorite part of her internship: "The morning sun was shining as the cool, crisp air burns off. The barn walls were lined with pens housing baby calves waiting on their breakfast. Happy music played in the barn as the calves were being fed, which makes it fun for the calves as well as for the workers. The new born calves were so ready for that bottle and were not afraid to slobber on me while indulging on the sweet formula that I was eager to give them." She concluded that she loved that day because the calves were experiencing so many new parts of their life for the very first time.
"Enjoying what you do is important and the hands-on experience with Indian Trail is giving me the opportunity to find what I enjoy as well as what I do not in order to better equip myself with the knowledge I will need to decide what I want my future to look like."
Starting in 1981, Access of West Michigan has been a leading nonprofit organization in Grand Rapids, Mich. The company strives to fight against poverty through education and collaboration within the community. Access has worked with the local Food and Nutrition Coalition, the boards and committees for United Way, the Community Health Improvement Plan, and the Kent Country Food Policy Council all to create a community where food access, health and nutrition and poverty education is available to those in need.
Amanda is the communication and development intern at Access. Her main task consists of utilizing her graphic design skills on Adobe programs like InDesign and Illustrator. She also helps the marketing team brainstorm new campaign ideas and promotional strategies. As she reflected on her upcoming future as a Cornerstone graduate she stated, "I still don't know exactly what I'll be doing in the future, but I know that the experience here has helped prepare me for many things like teamwork and leadership skills."
She explained that her classes at CU have greatly helped her prepare for this current internship. The skills Amanda has learned have guided her in taking on a technical and artistic career path, along with increasing her confidence in a professional setting while using her God-give abilities.
At Cornerstone, 100% of traditional undergraduate students complete an academic internship or practicum. By doing this, students have the ability to start the important journey of better realizing their God-given skills, talents and potential outside of the classroom.
For more information on Cornerstone's student-focused vocational resources, visit the Center for Career & Life Calling's web page.