Maddie Annis ’23

Real Food Farm, Baltimore, MD

My internship at Real Food Farm this summer was an incredible experience that greatly influenced my career goals. Real Food Farm is an urban farm in Baltimore that promotes food access and education. In my work there, I helped with producing food, coordinating the Community Supported Agriculture program, and assisting with the Affordable Produce Delivery Program. Some of the most rewarding work was through the Affordable Produce Delivery Program, which delivers fresh produce directly to older adults in Baltimore City at a reduced price. Through this program, I was able to interact with community members by talking to them on the phone and delivering food boxes directly to their homes. I was able to hear from community members how much this program helped them, which added a level of personal meaning to the work.

Maddie Annis bagging basil.
Bagging up basil for CSA shares.

Another aspect of my internship was helping with food production. Two days each week I had the opportunity to work on the farm, planting, harvesting, weeding, post-harvest food preparation, coordinating the Community Supported Agriculture program, and any other tasks that needed to be completed. I had a lot of fun getting my hands in the dirt a few days each week. Through this internship, I felt grounded in the land and the community in new ways, and for that I am incredibly grateful.

I came into this summer in a place of transition regarding my academic and career goals, and the internship at Real Food Farm provided me with some welcome clarity during a somewhat tumultuous time. For as long as I can remember, my goal had been to become a doctor, but this past year, I began to gravitate more towards pursuing public health, ultimately deciding at the end of the past semester to step away from the pre-med track. This decision left me for the first time without clear career goals and concrete steps to complete them. Working at Real Food Farm gave me my first experience in the field of public health, specifically in food and nutrition, my main interests within public health. My work this summer felt extremely impactful and being able to clearly see how each of my tasks ultimately contributed to the overall goals of the organization really contributed to that feeling of fulfillment. After this summer, I have a better idea of what a post-Williams path might look like for me. I am currently thinking of taking a year or two after undergrad to work on a farm, then go to grad school for public health. Although this path is much less concrete than my previous one, it is a path that fills me with joy, and I cannot wait to see where these new goals take me.

I would like to extend my most sincere thanks to the ’68 Center for Career Exploration and to the Class of 1966 for making this experience possible. It has been so important for me, and I know will have a lasting impact on my life and career goals.