The #2018PFP was a wonderful life and professional experience!

First it started with meeting the other two Moldovan participants to this Program. It turned out they were such great guys that I wished we had the same placement.

There were 2 meaningful days spent in Washington, D.C. upon our arrival to U.S. for the Program where many inspiring words and advices have been said by American Councils staff and new cool connections made with fellow from other countries.

We had the chance to visit the GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY and attend the Leadership Workshop led by Dr. Sam Potolicchio, Director of Global and Custom Education, McCourt School of Public Policy. He provided an interactive insight into leadership concepts. As Professional Fellows we learnt how to define modern leadership, roles of leaders and significant differences pertaining to leadership understanding in public and private sectors.

I guess Sam was one of the most inspiring persons I’ve met there.

I did not have the change to live with an American family, but it was all compensated by the team and my supervisor I met at the New Entry Project in Lowell, Massachusetts, an initiative of Tufts University’s Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy. Their enthusiasm and hard work was truly infectious!

Thanks to director for New Entry Project, I had the chance to attend the Advisory Board meeting of the Tufts University’s Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy in Boston. A very interesting panel presentation and later discussion was on Congress failure to pass Farm Bill and how that impacts the School and society, in general.

I was also excited spending time with the team over at the Project’s Food Hub and learn how the farming programs work. It was an amazing opportunity of volunteering with a group from American Training who were helping the Food Hub every week to pack produce into colorful CSA shares. Together with my colleagues we have visited the Senior Center in Billerica MA to distribute fresh & local produce and make those nice people happy.

Thanks to my supervisor and American Councils, I have participated to the 7th annual NIFTI National Field School in Boulder, Colorado. The Field School provided interactive workshops, facilitated resource review sessions and regional networking and goal-setting opportunities. Farm tours and site visits of incubator farm projects and farmer training programs and initiatives in the Boulder/Denver area were incorporated into the Field School experience.

I tried to benefit from all the opportunities I had to learn more about public policy and leadership:  attended the meeting of the Massachusetts Food Policy Council in the State House, took the Leading Change on line course, went to lectures at Tufts University and Harvard Kennedy School. Also, the very interesting discussions with my colleagues helped me learn and understand more.

It all culminated with the final Congress back in D.C., after what we all headed out to our home cities to engage into new activities and remember this awesome experience offered by American Councils. The communication network created among PFP fellows is the greatest outcome that we all take out of this extraordinary opportunity!