by Quinn Holmquist
Of all the weather-related metaphors I could make about my work with CEF this year, a rainstorm seems most pertinent – sometimes heavy, always reminding me that life is neither fair nor comfortable, and refreshing for precisely those reasons.
In August, Anne Yeung (Duke ’14) and I became the Co-Coordinators for CEF-Durham. Since then, we’ve settled into something of a rhythm: weekly meetings with community partners and various members of our Admin Team, outreach into the Duke community, fielding calls to the CEF-Durham phone line, hanging out with Members and with one another. I’ve never really had a “job” before, but my position right now is as close as I’ve gotten. How fortunate am I, to have my first job experience doing work that I actually want to do with my life!
Wait, what? you might be asking. There’s two different CEF’s? How is CEF in Durham different from CEF in Chapel Hill?
Good questions. Let me catch you up on what’s been going down at CEF-Durham.
CEF: A Short History
…which brings us to today.
Where We’re Going
Outsiders think we’re kidding, but you all know that I’m not when I say that the coolest people in town hang out with CEF. CEF-Durham is composed of Members, Advocates, Board Members, an Admin Team, and community partners, all of whom both push CEF-Durham forward and encourage us to step back and reflect.
A few examples:
What Guides Us
We naïve, visionary idealists (some call us college students) at CEF have a tendency to move forward with lots of ideas, lots of enthusiasm and only a little bit of a plan. As such, at CEF-Durham, we’re engaged in continued conversation with the whole CEF community, reflecting on what we do well already and how it can be made even better. From these conversations have sprung our overarching goals:
It’s with these goals in our minds and in our hearts that we at CEF-Durham find direction.
It’s from these friendships, in community, that we derive our strength.
It’s from one another that we learn
And it is the rainstorm of CEF-Durham – the sometimes-overwhelming struggles we take on with our Members, the frustrating delays, the hard-fought successes – that puts our existences in the Duke bubble into (or blows them out of) perspective.
It’s from the rainstorm of CEF that we grow.