SHELDON—For the second summer in a row, Natalee Dippel is interning with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach county offices to prepare for her career in education.
The 20-year-old, who will be a senior at Iowa State University in Ames this fall, is one of three “Rising Star” interns who are working in the six counties that make up Region 1 of the Extension program: Clay, Dickinson, Lyon, O’Brien, Osceola and Sioux.
She and fellow Rising Star interns Madeline Robinson and Alyssa Rosenbaum are living on the Northwest Iowa Community College campus in Sheldon during the summer.
The Belmond native is studying agriculture education with a teacher certification option and is looking forward to working with kids as part of her internship.
“I’m really passionate about it,” she said.
Dippel said her positive internship experience last summer at the Hancock County Extension office influenced her decision to apply for her internship this summer.
“It’s really beneficial just because we get to work with kids a lot and kind of get to experience that,” she said. “And then we also do curriculum planning, and it will help me with lesson plans in the future.”
Dippel said some of the activities she will be doing this summer include going to day cares and YMCAs across the Region 1 counties and teaching youth lessons about gardening and produce.
She and the other county Extension interns and staff workers also will go to the farmers’ markets in Sheldon and Rock Rapids to host Power of Produce Club once a week. The program teaches kids between the ages of 4-12 about produce and lets them taste local samples. The kids also get to spend $2 tokens at the market to buy a fruit or vegetable.
“It’s completely free for them,” Dippel said. “It’s a good way to promote the farmers’ market.”
In addition to working with kids, Dippel said she has enjoyed being able to meet with different businesses and county Extension workers in Region 1.
“It’s a great way to network,” she said.
On the ISU campus in Ames, she is part of the university’s Transfer Admissions Ambassador Program, which gives campus tours, meets with prospective students and helps transfer students get settled on campus. She also is active in the tap dancing club, which is an activity she did in high school.
Outside of school and internship involvement, Dippel enjoys playing and coaching softball and volleyball and visiting her grandparents’ farm.
She said she looks up to her two older brothers, Kody and Kasey Trampel, who are 29 and 27, respectively. Her brothers have been a source of guidance for her throughout her life.
As she is nearing the end of her college career, Dippel offered advice for incoming college freshmen, encouraging them to get involved on campus.
“There’s a lot of different activities that you can do no matter where you go,” she said. “Probably some that you don’t even know that they have.”