Help us welcome Cristina Egas, Communications Intern at Common Ground!

Cristina recently started as an intern at Common Ground (CG), this spring. She is studying Environmental Science at Quinnipiac University and we are so excited to welcome her back at CG, as she is also a former Common Ground summer camper! Cristina joined After School Media Club member, Sam Rivera, for an interview and shared her personal and professional experiences that brought her to CG.

What’s your job at Common Ground?

I work with the Development and Communications team at CG as a Communications Intern. I help with social media, the preparation and organizing for Feast from the Fields, and assist with other communications.

What are your previous work experiences? What made CG a good next step for you? 

I have other internship experiences, and hospitality experience as well. I’ve been working since high school in both paid and unpaid positions. During high school, I was an intern for Sustainable Southbury, a non-profit group centered around making the town of Southbury more sustainable. I’ve spent the last couple of years mentoring and tutoring kids at Boys and Girls Clubs of America and other after school programs. I have a lot of experience in the food industry, in both high-end restaurants and fast-food joints like McDonalds. Most of my jobs center around caring for others, educating, and hospitality. This opportunity at CG was in the area of what I am studying and gives perspective on a possible career path I can take in the future, so that made it a good next step.

What part of CG made you come here? What motivates you to work here? 

It’s in the wild and outdoors, the natural energy is strong and it’s true what they say, it makes you happy. It’s motivating to get out of my house and be in nature, and all the positive memories I have of campus really make me eager to go to work.

What makes you want to work in an environment with young people/young adults? 

Young people have great ideas and hold a lot of potential for problem solving and creative thinking. These qualities are really useful when it comes to solving problems, whether it be environmental, social, or economic. Young people have a carefree energy and are full of randomness. These awesome qualities can fade over time, so it is great to harness their creative, wandering minds to think of new ways to solve issues or conflicts in our society/world. 

What’s your approach to working with young people?

To be on their level, but be respected.

What’s your approach to communications & media?

To be very open minded and take risks.

What life experiences made you want to work in media?

Making videos with my sister and growing up with YouTube, as a child. When I was younger, influencing or becoming a content creator was very present in my mind. My older sister and I would spend a lot of our time either pretending to make videos or actually filming and producing YouTube content (which is still up there). Media is ever growing and has always been a part of my life since I can remember. It’s something intuitive to me and I want to use my 13 years of internet and media experience to help organizations I strongly believe in. 

How does your job relate to students?

My job is to promote CG and to help improve communications at the school.

What’s one change you’d like to see at CG, and why?

To improve the lack of funding, I’d like to see that. From my short time interacting with staff and students, it’s clear that funding is a great concern for everyone. Common Ground does great things with all their community programs, urban farm programs, and high school educational opportunities. However, as with most environmental organizations, there is a huge lack of funding that needs to be addressed. Common Ground’s programs are great steppingstones to creating a better sustainable world and fighting climate change. In order for the programs to grow and expand, more funding is necessary.

What do you want students and families to know about you as a person? 

I’m very open to working in new environments and willing to get out of my comfort zone.

Would your younger self see you working here?

No, I never thought of work when I was younger. As a kid, work was the least of my concerns, I honestly never thought deep into it. My younger self only knew Common Ground from the Summer camp; I also had no clue what I was going to study in college. If you told me when I was younger that I would be working at Common Ground, I would have been so excited.

What are any goals you have completed while working here?

A hike, I woke up really early to be here. The All-School Hike was a hike I had done before, but in camp. My memories of doing the hike previously were horrible, my lunch did not sit well with me that day and it left me traumatized. However, the hike this year was a great experience. I mentally prepared, got up early, had a great breakfast, and packed my bag full of the best snacks. The hike up and down went well, and I had opportunities to meet with staff and students and hear their perspectives; that’s two things I really enjoy doing. The hike itself helped me achieve my goals of getting up early, arriving on time, stepping out of my comfort zone, and meeting new people.


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