My CAHNR Summer: Megan Davenport Grows as an Agricultural Educator

Through her internship with UConn Extension, Megan Davenport '22 (CAHNR) is sharing her love of agriculture with the community

Smiling girl with cow

Contributed photo

This summer, Megan Davenport is developing her skills as an agricultural educator through her internship with UConn 4-H Hartford County.

The College of Agriculture, Health, and Natural ResourcesExtension internships provide students with the opportunity to learn and work in a paid career-oriented role.

What is your name, major, and year?

My name is Megan Davenport and I am a rising senior double majoring in animal science and agriculture and natural resources.

What is your internship this summer?

This summer I am serving as the Hartford County UConn 4-H Extension Intern. This internship is a hybrid of virtual and in-person engagement so when I am not working from home, I am working out of the Hartford County UConn 4-H Extension Office in Farmington and at Auerfarm 4-H Educational Camp in Bloomfield. I am facilitating educational enrichment programs through Auerfarm Educational Camp to Hartford public school students. I am also preparing for and helping coordinate the annual Hartford County UConn 4-H Fair. I am working with UConn 4-H members to gauge their interest and engagement in virtual and in-person programs. Another one of my roles is teaching UConn 4-H Teen Council Leaders how to be effective workshop facilitators.

Why were you interested in this opportunity?

Through my extensive involvement in UConn 4-H and Future Farmers of America (FFA) growing up, I developed a passion for agricultural advocacy and leadership development early on and knew I wanted my career to reflect this interest. After facilitating workshops for FFA students as a CT FFA state officer, I realized my true calling lies in agriscience education and that this internship would be an amazing opportunity for me to develop new skills in the education field. This internship allows me to learn how to teach various age groups of students as well as students from various backgrounds and levels of experience in agriculture. Overall, the ability to connect and work with 4-H students while also providing a nurturing and resourceful environment for them to grow and thrive as young agricultural and community leaders was a perfect career opportunity for a future teacher like me.

How does your work help improve the quality of life for Connecticut residents?

By facilitating workshops and creating programs and educational videos that young 4-Hers can participate in and view, I allow these members to learn critical skills that help them grow into strong effective leaders who then can go on to do great things for their communities. By providing enrichment programs, enjoyable agricultural experiences, and a positive learning environment for 4-Hers, I can help grow the next generation of agricultural and community leaders who then have the tools they need to create beneficial programs and events for Connecticut residents and communities.

How would you describe your experience working at this internship?

This has been a wonderful experience so far. This has been the most relevant internship I’ve done to help me accomplish my goals of being a more effective agricultural teacher. Besides student teaching (which I plan on doing during my master’s program), there aren’t a ton of hands-on experiences for classroom management and teaching students of various ages. Thankfully, this internship allows me to get that necessary experience so that I can apply what I’ve learned here to my student teaching experience and my future career in teaching. Being able to interact with students and gauge their learning and interest in various topics allows me to be a more effective educator as well as allowing me to create programs that provide relevant information for various types of community needs.

 How does this internship fit with your future goals at UConn and beyond?

My aspirations of becoming a high school agriscience teacher made this internship opportunity very attractive to me when I was searching for summer internships, and so far, it has delivered on every front. My coworkers and supervisors are incredibly helpful and are great to work with, and I’ve had the chance to gain many important professional contacts. After facilitating educational programs to students, I’ve also had a preview of what my career path would be like and am delighted to say that this internship has confirmed that serving as an agriscience educator is my dream job. Finally, this internship is also a great intro to student teaching and will prepare me very well for my aspirations of earning my master’s degree via the Teacher Certification Program for College Graduates offered by UConn as well as the world of teaching that I am excited to enter!

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