Do not worry I will totally explain the cat thing, but my internship for the OBXFS 2016 was with the Town of Manteo. Located conveniently down the street from the Elizabeth Friends II house, I was able to walk to my internship every Monday and Wednesday (so do not worry if you have a car or not!).
My mentor was the wonderful Erin Burke who taught me all things related to being a town planner in a small town. The first day of my internship, Erin took me along to learn the history of the town and to meet people who have lived in Manteo for years! It is a very close-knit community and I was so happy that I was able to be apart of it.
My main task was to develop a unified recycling program for the Town of Manteo. This required me to draft a proposal bid to submit to the Board of Commissioners for approval to place the bid in the local paper. The bid is to advertise to contractors that the Town of Manteo is in need of supplies and labor for a recycling program.
However, when I was not working on the new recycling program, I was helping to refurbish an old playground. A lot of the equipment was rusted and out of date, so children could no longer safely play. When the project was completed, it was heartwarming to see the kids rush to play after school.
I also attended meetings hosted by DOT, Government Education TV, and FEMA to get a first-hand look into the inner workings of local and regional government.
Now the moment you have all been waiting for!
Along with my internship, I made a new friend: TOM the town cat. His name stands for the Town of Manteo (GET IT??). He came to the town hall to live several years ago and never left. He lives in my office and demands belly rubs throughout the day. He was definitely an added plus to my time working for the Town of Manteo.
The staff in Manteo is amazing and helpful. The knowledge I gained here definitely helped me pick a career path after I graduate. I look forward to trying my hand at being a town planner just like my mentor!