By Ola Miller, Giorgi Lomia
Three Berea College students Ola, Emely, and Giorgi, have just finished their third week working for Kashmir World Foundation. Here, they share their opinions and experiences as they become more familiar with their tasks and responsibilities. All of them admit, however, that this week was a bit different from the last two weeks.
Monday 20th of May was without a doubt an eventful day for Princess Aliyah and the summer interns. They received a call from Roer's Zoofari in Reston, Virginia regarding a deer, which was stuck in the middle of the bush. Zoofari’s employees could not locate her, so they asked Princess Aliyah for help. Because Roer’s Zoofari has worked with Kashmir World Foundation in the past, they are familiar with the fact that KwF uses drones and AI to protect endangered species. They hoped that they could use KwF’s drones to locate the deer and figure out the best action plan to save her.
Princess Aliyah and the summer interns decided to use a pocket drone to help the deer on Tuesday morning; however, before they went to Zoofari, the interns had to figure out how to calibrate the drone and how to use it. The interns and Aliyah were trying to make sure that the drone would be helpful, so they were trying to fly it very high up. As they were going higher and higher, the drone lost connection with the phone, and the wind took it into the tree behind Aliyah’s house. Because the drone was stuck between the branches, the interns could no longer pilot it.
The interns tried to figure out a way to bring it back, and when they were trying to come up with the best action plan, they saw a person walking on the other side of the road. It turned out that Aliyah’s neighbor practices rock climbing and happened to be the owner of this high tree. Luckily, he decided to climb the tree and bring the drone back to the interns.
Fortunately, all went well and Peter was able to get down from the tree safely. Aliyah thanked him by offering an internship at Kashmir World Foundation and the opportunity to go with the interns on a rescue mission on Tuesday (May 21st).
Unfortunately, despite the efforts of all the interns and Princess Aliyah, the wind was too strong that day and prevented them from rescuing the deer. However, even though they could not help at the time, Princess Aliyah was able to ask her other intern to bring a bigger drone later and try to find the animal in the evening.
Tuesday 21st of May was a very exciting day for the interns as well, because they had a chance to explore the Roer's Zoofari, see different animals, and even pet some of them. Without a doubt, being an intern at Kashmir World Foundation is always thrilling and full of surprises.
According to Ola, the third week was very exciting. “It was a very interesting experience, and even though it did not directly relate to my marketing and Public Relations internship, I feel like it was important, because saving animals is an essential part of what the organization does and I loved being part of that. Additionally, spending time with my supervisor, her family and other interns helps me relax and have fun during the internship, apart from working and learning a lot in the process,” she says.
Giorgi Lomia, for whom it was the first time flying a drone, thinks it was a unique and a bittersweet experience. “This week I flew my first drone: emachine e58; it is a small drone that is sometimes also called the pocket drone. At first, I was flying low and slowly to get the feel of the drone and learn how to fly it. Unfortunately, I flew it into the tallest tree around. I felt horrible, and I thought that the drone was gone forever. I could not even see the drone at all; but fortunately, Peter was able to climb the tree and retrieve the drone, and I felt relieved and happy when he was able to bring the drone back,” he admits.
On Tuesday, Giorgi enjoyed his time at Zoofari a lot, because he understands the impact of technology and science on the world. “It was extremely fun to see and pet all those animals, it was also very inspiring to see the influence that we could be making with technology,” he explains.
However, apart from having fun piloting drones and exploring zoofari, the third week was also very busy for the interns, who worked hard to improve and contribute to the organization.
According to Emely, the knowledge she gained at Berea College is helping her to work more efficiently, and she can see the progress she makes every day. “Even though before the internship my background in Java programming was very limited, I think my experiences at Berea are the reason why it has not been too difficult to pick up the pace of working on new projects and devoting my time into achieving results easily. I have attended hackathons in the past (that Berea helped fund) where I learned how to work with a program for someone else’s use, so I am familiar with such things as working on a user interface and making sure it is easy to use for the target audience. In addition, I am using all those experiences into briefing the front-end ideas to my internship supervisor,” she says.
According to Ola, working for Kashmir World Foundation is beneficial for her development. “This week was definitely very eventful and exciting. I had a chance to learn and experience something new. I am starting to get used to this way of working and I am enjoying it. I feel like I am doing a lot and I am glad I am able to contribute to the Kashmir World Foundation. I see the progress that I am making. For example, I can see that my flyers and brochures are looking better after implementing suggestions from my supervisor and other interns. This internship offers me the opportunity to not only learn a lot about Public Relations and marketing strategies but also to use the knowledge I gained at Berea College. Additionally, I am learning how to manage my time well due to the flexible hours this internship provides. It is sometimes challenging; however, I am doing my best. I am very excited for the next seven weeks working at Kashmir World Foundation,” she adds.
Ola, Giorgi, and Emely are taking advantage of every opportunity that Kashmir World Foundation has to offer. All of them are very excited for the next few weeks because they feel like they can achieve a lot and make a real difference.