This is both a very happy and bittersweet blog post. It will be my last post as Fair Trade Intern at Penn State Brandywine, as I am moving up to the Penn State campus in State College in two days. In all honesty, I could not have asked for a better way to spend my summer. Once you learn about Fair Trade, it’s hard to shop or to look at products in the same way. I can’t walk into a store without thinking about the story behind each product and about the people who made them. I wonder if the clothes I wear or the car I drive were made by workers who were treated equally or poorly. Fair Trade has made me realize the power I have as a consumer by making an educated and ethical purchase. I hope that through my work at Penn State Brandywine I have made other people more aware of what they buy and the impacts of their choices. I hope that I furthered my community’s understanding of Fair Trade, and I hope to continue to spread Fair Trade when I move to University Park and beyond.
In some ways my Fair Trade experience has come full circle. Earlier this month the TrailBlazers submitted an application for affiliation with United Students for Fair Trade. USFT was the first organization that we had reached out to on our path to understanding and supporting Fair Trade, and their advice and guidance have been very important to our growth as a campus that supports Fair Trade. I was one of the first people to contact USFT, and spoke with Maria Louzon the National Coordinator. It was to our immense delight that USFT approved our application and the TrailBlazers are now officially affiliates.
We are so happy to be working with USFT, the first organization to help us gain footing in this ever changing movement, and we look forward to working with them in the near future.
Our next intern will be Louis Donaghue, one of the original TrailBlazers, and we are thrilled that he will be on board this fall to help further the movement on campus. Keep an eye out for his posts!
Anyway, it has been a pleasure interning for Penn State Brandywine. I have certainly learned a lot and will continue to do good things in the world of Fair Trade!
-Contributed by Sarah DeMartino, Fair Trade Intern