Greetings and humble salutations!
My name is Dejanerra (Daisy) Mugford and I am hailing all the way from the windy city of Chicago, Illinois but I have been living in the peach state of Georgia for over five years now. I am excited to announce that I will be interning at the Olmsted Center for Landscape Preservation in Boston, MA for the summer of 2017. Although my time here is short, I cannot wait for the adventures and experiences for me to unfold so that I may share them with you. But until then, here’s a little about me and my journey here in Boston so far.
As I mentioned earlier, I have been living in Georgia for five years, mainly in Atlanta. But as of recently (for two years), I have been in Savannah where I attend the illustrious institution of Savannah State University (SSU). Savannah State was the first public Historically Black College/University (HBCU) in the state of Georgia, founded by our first university president Dr. Richard R. Wright in 1890, he built the opulent institution off of the message: “We Are Rising.”
I hold my university near and dear to my heart for it has introduced me to my passion and has pushed me to become greater. My freshman year I ran into my first passion, activism, by joining the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Since joining I have not been able to stop creating programs, raising awareness, and donating to the minority community of not only Savannah State’s campus but the Savannah Chatham County community as well. I have been the lead and conductor of many civil rights/black history marches, donated to children in need through various non-profit organizations, and brought unassailable education to closed off communities.
At the time of joining the NAACP, I was a business major and I soon joined the International Business Fraternity of Delta Sigma Pi, another organization I hold dear to my heart. In this organization I have made life long brothers and have grown in my marketing skills to better advance local urban communities by conducting fundraisers and donation drives to help build broken urban communities.
Although I was initially a business major, matriculating through my college years I realized I had my focuses all wrong. I was originally majoring in Business with a minor in Africana Studies, but ending my first semester of sophomore year I quickly flipped the two and more opportunities have opened up to me now than ever.
Since majoring in Africana Studies, I have been able to accurately and confidently apply my passion for activism in my studies and organizations. Everything I do now can be drawn back to why I chose Africana Studies and my institutions in the first place. Which brings me to why I chose this particular internship.
African American ( Africana) Studies, is the field of study devoted to the critical and systematic examination of the cultural, political, social, economic and historical experiences of Africans, African Americans, and any peoples of African descent. Founded by two of the most profound and influential historical black figures; W.E.B Du Bois and Carter G. Woodson, Africana studies was essentially created to preserve the history of African peoples and to give us a chance to write our own stories contributed to the American culture.
Similarly, The National Park Service’s mission is to: “Preserve unimpaired the natural and cultural resources of the National Park System for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations.” I paired these together and thought “what better way to preserve and write my history than to intern/work with the National Park Services?” So I applied for the internship at the Olmsted Center in Boston full high hopes and expectations.
While interning at the Olmsted Center for Landscape Preservation, I will be conducting a Cultural Landscape Report (CLR) for the Harriet Tubman site in Dorchester County, Maryland. Particularly created an illustrated narrative on physical development and changes of Dorchester County landscape while mapping out the role of racial discrimination there during the civil rights era. Once I got wind of my assignment I was amazed and instantly eager to learn more about a different world I never been in; Boston.
My first week in Boston was pretty rough for various reasons:
1.) I was ALONE. This was my first time in a new city I had never been in before by MYSELF for the WHOLE time. No one was coming to visit me, I knew no one here, I was completely alone.
2.) It was a different world. I knew/know nothing about Boston except that it is the third most expensive city to live in the country and I didn’t know how I was going to survive.
3.) I could not figure out where I was going for the life of me! Siri had me “going left, take a right, turn back around”. I would get so frustrated and just call me an Uber. I gave up on public transit the first week.
4.) I felt like an outcast not being able to relate to many of my co-workers it felt like I didn’t belong.
All of this had me panicking in my mind wondering if I was ever going to get in the groove of things!
But, eventually as I got adjusted and a little help from my co-workers and boss Mr. Beagan, I was able to get well adjusted, learn transit and not get too lost. I am excited for what else is in store for me in a different world like Boston!