Updated: Apr 16, 2022
Reflecting on the current situation that the world is in, OLI Gardens intern MJ Palmquist has found his positive light. MJ has recently developed his way of spreading positivity and strength throughout our community through his video project, aiming to promote OLI’s mission and inspire others to take part. Because of his dedication to the Obama Legacy Initiative, incredible leadership, and inspiring attitude, we would like to recognize MJ Palmquist in our first spotlight article!
MJ has always served as a leader not only in OLI but also in his community, having participated in Special Olympics, Ted-Ed, Best Buddies, and Peer Partners. “I love to be contributing to the overall well being of my community and my nation,” he explained when asked about the driving force behind his desire to help. “I matter to this world around me and [being able to] hear that from anyone that looks up to me, that is my driving force,” he finished. The quote he most wanted to share was, “Try and do anything you dream of,” a mission statement he has aimed to apply in all aspects of his life, including his work in OLI. His creativity and hard work are what have launched his success in making his ideas a reality.
With his passion for giving back to the community, MJ has found the OLI Gardens as the perfect place for him to serve. MJ underlined that OLI had given him so many opportunities to be a leader and admired how we discuss ideas as a team. Called to action, he has realized what he can contribute and the change he can create. With the help of the intern co-chairs, MJ has made a simple idea, like his video project, come to life.
After encountering a video called “Needed in Love,” MJ came up with the idea of creating a video promoting the OLI Gardens, which would help draw attention to the issue of food insecurity in our communities during this crisis. Watching the video made MJ realize how far he has come and how he wants to continue moving forward. Taking the lead for this important project, MJ has helped organize the contents of the video and rallied the entire OLI Gardens team to the effort. His positivity and strength have been on display throughout this whole endeavor, revealing that he brings a positive outlook to any challenge that stands in his way. Having a little more spare time on his hands, one of the more common side-effects of COVID-19, he believes this is a great time to promote this message and here at OLI, we have taken great inspiration from his consistent, ceaseless effort and hope that the video portrays the very same.