Center News


Fall & Spring Semester
Monday-Thursday: 10am-7pm
Friday: 9am-Noon
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: 4pm-8pm

We are currently 100% online. Not seeing a dog in the photo on front page? Refresh browser (Windows: ctrl + F5, Mac: command + R)

Abby, Managing Consultant

In the Spring of 2018, I began my first ‘solo’ semester as a consultant. This meant that I would be doing consultations on my own.  I entered the semester eager, yet nervous about all of the opportunities that may come up as a solo consultant for the very first time. Having previously been a Desk Manager, I had heard many stories about Peacehaven Community Farm and the awesome experiences that so many consultants seemed to be having there. I knew that I wanted to visit at least once and experience for myself what consulting out at Peacehaven was like.

As I was making my schedule for the Spring semester, I decided now would be the ideal time to complete my requirement for Communication and Community being a Communication Studies major. I knew that the class had a hefty volunteer hour requirement, and I knew that I would be able to figure something out and fit it into my schedule. As all of the volunteer sites were introduced to us, none seemed to be ideal for my particular schedule. I then went to my coworkers in the Speaking Center and asked them what they had done for their service hours for the class. One coworker suggested to me that I propose my own volunteer site, and said I should give Peacehaven a try. I decided that that would be my best option, as I would get consulting experience and would be able to fulfill my service hours.

As I began to go out to Peacehaven, I immediately knew that the four core members living at Peacehaven were going to make a big impact on me. I instantly bonded with each of them, and found a new passion for working with people who have intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. As the semester progressed, I found that I had been asked to participate in a discussion panel at an international academic conference* held in Wilmington, North Carolina.  Here I would share about my consulting experiences out at Peacehaven Community Farm along with four of my coworkers serving as co-presenters. I eagerly agreed.

We spent about a month and a half planning, awaiting Spring Break for the panel in Wilmington. With each session, the five of us grew closer with one another and became very close friends. When March finally arrived, we drove down to Wilmington together the day before our discussion panel to finalize and rehearse what we had crafted thus far. Upon rehearsing our discussion panel, we realized that we were about 25 minutes short of the time requirement we needed to meet. We sat for quite some time and helped one another brainstorm ideas for what we could add to our respective sections. The following day, we all drove in my minivan to UNCW to present what we had worked so hard on. We finally presented, and we more than met the time requirement. After presenting, we all celebrated together that all of our hard work had paid off.

Upon arriving home, we were informed that we had won the top panel award, which was exciting to us all. The most exciting part to me though was the experience we had all shared together at the conference. We had each become closer and we had gained new friends out of the experience, not just coworkers. The experiences I gained from Peacehaven and the core members had greater implications for my life beyond finding a new passion, but provided me with many, many new friends.

*funding to support attending the conference was provided by URSCO at UNCG.

Connect with us!