By Michael Migotsky
Hello! I am Michael Migotsky, and I have been interning at Friends of Trees this summer through the DukeEngage program. I will write a few blog posts about what I have been doing all around the organization, but before that, I wanted to give a little introduction to me and why I am here.
First off, I am from Bellevue, WA, so I have spent just about my entire life here in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. This fall, I will be a junior at Duke University in North Carolina, where I am majoring in Biology and minoring in French. I like running and reading, as well as spending time outside enjoying all nature has to offer. Though in reality, as a busy college student, I probably spend more time in the library than I do outside.
DukeEngage is a program funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that sends Duke undergraduates all around the world to volunteer, usually either with nonprofits domestically or NGOs abroad. This year, there are over 400 students in 43 programs, and I am lucky enough to be able to spend these eight weeks here in Portland. There are seven other students in the Portland program, working at SOLVE, the Crag Law Center, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, Metro, and River Network.
Since coming to Portland, we have all become really close and have loved exploring and getting to know the city and all it has to offer. Apart from our full work days at our volunteer placements, we also volunteer as a whole group with Hands on Greater Portland one day a week and have weekend enrichment activities. Just this last weekend, we went out to the coast at Cascade Head to help The Nature Conservancy with trail maintenance, then camped out in Siuslaw National Park, then went to the Oregon Coast Aquarium and the Tillamook Cheese Factory. We have definitely kept ourselves very busy. If you want to learn more about what we have been up to, make sure to read our own program blog as well.
This summer at Friends of Trees, I have been working in just about all the different aspects of the organization. From being a summer inspector with Neighborhood Trees, to helping out with maintenance with the Green Space Initiative, to writing this blog post with Development and Communications, I have already had a great sampling of all Friends of Trees does and have loved every minute of it. It has been really interesting for me to see how a nonprofit functions, and to see all of its facets and how they all work together. I have already learned so much, and I cannot wait to see what the next four weeks have in store for me. I will have a few more blog posts going into further detail as to what I have done in each of these areas, so stay tuned!
–Migotsky is working with Friends of Trees this summer through the DukeEngage program.