College student Latrice Watkins began an internship at the Kentucky USDA Rural Development State Office last summer – but her dedication, positive attitude and incredible work ethic led to an extended stay, which came to an end last week after seven months.
Watkins will graduate this spring from Kentucky State University – an 1890 Land-Grant Institution – with a degree in elementary education. Much to the disappointment of the state office staff who wanted her to stay on even longer, Watkins is leaving to begin two semesters of student-teaching.
During her employment, Watkins helped out in every Rural Development program area – business and cooperative; community programs and housing – earning the respect and admiration of the entire staff with her commitment and dedication to doing the best job possible in every task presented to her.
State Director Tom Fern was impressed with Watkins’ skill: “Latrice is one of those special persons who possess all the attributes for being successful in all facets of life,” said Fern. “Her sharp intellect, contagious smile and pleasant personality make her a very outstanding person. I personally will miss her assistance.”
Watkins is taking away from this experience as much as she put into it, and said her time as an RD intern is something she will cherish for the rest of her career. “There is one word that sums up my overall experience as a USDA Rural Development Intern – enlightening! I have truly grown from this experience and I hope that USDA Rural Development continues to reach out and provide other students with the same opportunity that was offered to me,” said Watkins.
“Even though I had prior experience within the clerical profession, my time spent working for the agency has made me expand my horizons and broaden my thoughts, concepts and opinions. I know that my possibilities are endless and prior to working for USDA RD, my first and only career choice was to become an elementary school teacher; however, now that I see what a great impact my hard work had on the agency, I am highly considering applying for a position within the agency in the near future.
“After working seven months alongside some of the most helpful, caring, and warmhearted individuals, I have acknowledged my strengthened self-growth and confidence and I want to thank USDA Rural Development for believing in me and allowing me to strive for success. I will cherish this experience for a lifetime and it has truly been my pleasure to work for such an admirable agency that is appreciatively ‘committed to the future of rural communities’.”
USDA is currently accepting applications for the 1890 Scholars program. The deadline is February 1. To find out more click here. For other student opportunities click here. For a listing of current job opportunities with USDA click here.