Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Zachary Nullmeyer on Sustainability and Positive Change

           After being in Denver for over 3 months, the only complaint I have is that it all went by too fast! It is going to be hard to go back to Iowa. The thrill of adventure is so enticing and I have loved doing something new and different this semester.
           One of the things which I have been thinking about since I have been here is a way to use my accounting/business degree to promote sustainability and to make positive change in my community. The class trips which we have taken have been good ways for me to get ideas and see how other people used their educations to contribute. One particularly thought-provoking trip for me was the Stanley Marketplace in Aurora.
           The first thing you would notice about the Stanley Marketplace is how different it is. The founders wanted to create something special. They took an old, abandoned airport, reused as much of the building as they could, and turned it into what they call an anti-mall. Stanley is a place for Colorado businesses only. No chains are allowed. The building is fascinating. Bits and pieces from the airport were reused, a reminder of the historic site which they took over. When you shop in the Stanley Marketplace, you can rest assured that you are buying local, quality products. You are giving back to the community. The Stanley Marketplace is a gift to citizens in the Greater Denver area.
           The tour guide, who was one of the founders, was so passionate about the project and his vision for sustainability. Not only was the marketplace a great business investment, but he could feel good in it too. I have always thought that one of the keys to happiness in life is to help others. Even though I doubt I will ever start a marketplace, the overall mission was so inspirational for me. The founders had found a way to use their backgrounds to make a difference.
           When I think about my own vocation, I am sometimes overwhelmed. The world can be so big, which is even more apparent when you live in a metropolis like Denver. Can one person like myself really make a difference? The Stanley Marketplace was one of the many trips in Denver that have really caused me to believe in my own vocation. This semester has been more than skiing, hiking, and eating tasty Denver food. I have developed a passion to do my part in creating a smarter, more sustainable world. When I go back to Wartburg, I am excited to bring that with me.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Maya Weatherall on New Growth and Fresh Perspectives

Before coming to Denver I was very nervous about a lot of little issues, like how am I going to afford food, where am I going to church, how will I get to my internship? So many questions and fears but very little answers. I didn’t think, coming to Denver, I was going to find my voice and be confident in my ideas. Taking RE 325 and ID 360 has really shown me what it is like believing in an issue and then going out into the community and talking with different individuals who are also passionate about the same thing.
I am not much of a person who is into talking about politics or religion in a group manner, but I have shared my own opinions at several events we went to, like Interfaith Alliance and going to the Aurora Area Strategy at a Lutheran church where I spoke with Lutheran pastors about how the church can play a vital role in the community. From all these experiences I have learned that there are things that I am very passionate about at Wartburg College, and I want to take what I have learned in the classroom and the community and make that same difference in Waverly.
From the classroom I have met so many people at my internship at Fourth Wall Productions who are passionate about the work they do for Colorado through video. Every day, I am happy to get up and get ready for my internship. I have grown mentally and emotionally by working with so many different personalities and physically by humbly learning more about video. Alongside, outside of the classroom I have had the opportunity of participating in a service trip and making a difference in little kids’ lives by tutoring them or helping a mother and her daughter clean their house and yard. I can go on and on about how many blessings I have received, but Wartburg West is not just a time to be in a new city, but to grow and learn more about yourself and the community that is around you. You start to realize that you can make your voice heard, that you can make a difference by meeting people, and that you do gain new perspectives at your internship. I love that I made the decision to come out to Denver for a semester.