ELAW staff and me at the farewell party

Time flies when you are enjoying it.

Since November 2009, I have been working at ELAW – strengthening ties with ELAW partners in China, providing Chinese translation of legal and scientific resources, and helping to administer the ELAW Fellows program. I have worked happily every day. I am proud of the time I spent at ELAW, and I am glad that I have been helpful in some way. When I began working at ELAW, I was looking for an answer: is this really what I want to do as a career or even for the rest of my life?

ELAW works with public interest advocates from Africa, Asia, Central America, South America, Europe, and other regions around the globe. Through ELAW’s network, I was lucky to have opportunities to connect with these environmental lawyers, scientists, engineers, and non-profit organization directors and staff. ELAW connected me to a global public interest environmental community that I really feel I belong to.

Until I began working with ELAW, I was uncertain about the possibilities of finding a meaningful job. I saw others around me looking for a “good” job where they made more money, and I was worried that I too would have to work only for money. I knew that the work itself would make the job interesting, and I imagined what traveling for a job would be like.

While completing my M.A. in environmental studies at the UO, my passion for working at an environmental non-profit organization was inspired. I contacted ELAW to inquire about a one-year internship, where I could test my interest. ELAW’s stories made me, a pessimist, start to believe that there must be something we can do, and there is a good way we can work to help people and the environment. Working together to help each other and our environment is what gives our lives and our work meaning.

In my first ELAW blog I wrote, “ELAW is the best option for me to do the internship.” Now I know that I was right! Thanks to everyone at ELAW. I will miss all of you!

Chu “Cassie” Chen
ELAW Intern 2009-2010

Editor’s note: Cassie (as we all know her) called ELAW with an interest in volunteering for one year. We now wonder how we got everything done without her! Not only has she been a hard-worker, a fast-learner, and a committed advocate for the environment and human rights, she has been a positive, smiling co-worker and friend. We will miss seeing her every day, but look forward to hearing about all her success. Thanks Cassie!