QEM Blog 5

Leonardo Alfonso-Galtes


Blog 5

This week has been incredibly fun and productive.

For starters, I finally got around to add a friend on LinkedIn who I met through volunteering in the GW Community Garden.

His name is Bhojraj Pokharel and he is a Public Relations specialist from Nepal conducting electoral and peace research as a fellow of the United States Institute for Peace.

Aside from being a kind person with a love for nature and wildlife, I would like to expand my friendship with him to hopefully one day collaborate on a project to address the concerns of the poor and disenfranchise of this country and tie it all together with the growth of harmony through nature.

Regarding LinkedIn, I added and met with Moki Kokoris, an architect turned arctic-environmentalist after she decided to follow passion for nature that rested in her heart.

She currently runs a company called 90-North where she works with K-12 school across the US to increase the growth of STEM students as well as bringing awareness of the Arctic's importance to the global environment.

Moreover, she has extended her hand to help me align my career goals and create a list of potential grad schools to attend. What's fascinating about this is that Moki is not the only one going out of their way to help me. Daniel Souleles, Baraba Rose Johnson, and Ariela Zycherman, all of which I met on LinkedIn, have volunteered to help me. I never would have imagined that I would meet such kind and generous scientist through LinkedIn.

Furthermore, it the Grad School Funding workshop hosted by the NSF on Thursday taught me about the many ways I can get funded to earn a master or Phd and now I feel more confident than ever that I will become the first person in my family to attend grad school and while doing so getting out of adversity.

On another matter, I want to say how happy I was on Wednesday from attending my first ever baseball game in the Nationals Stadium.

It was very fun us interns going as a group and seating way up, where the whole field was visible and fans from the Chicago Cubs and the Washington Nationals surrounded us.

The food was not bad either since for 12$ I managed to get myself a juicy England burger and cheesy fries which I shared with Jasmine Jones who seated next to me.

On my way home, I met a senior couple from Norway and to my surprise, I managed to have a friendly conversation throughout my metro commute. I still remember how it started, as Kendrick, Sergio, Jasmine, and I ran into the metro, I mentioned something around the line of, "We could have taken the next train but that's three minutes out of my life I will never get back." Everyone laugh including the couple from Norway and that's when I started talking to them. Throughout our conversation, we talked issue facing Scandinavian countries, the Arctic, and the famous film from Norway called Troll Hunter. All in all, I was surprised how well I managed to hold a conversation with a random couple I just met.

This was simply fun, rewarding, and fulfilling.

Thank you QEM for all you have made possible.

Below you will find photos taken throughout this week.


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