Internship sows seeds of inspiration

November 11, 2013 11:00 AM

Ryan Rivet

Like many seniors, Tabitha Mustafa was looking for an internship to round out her schedule and increase her odds of finding a job when she graduates. She went to the Tulane Center for Public Service internship fair last spring, then landed an opportunity that is parlaying a love of food and her coursework in Spanish and Latin American Studies into a unique experience while focusing her career goals.

Tabitha Mustafa

“Food is really my passion. So organic gardening just plays into that,” says Tabitha Mustafa, a Tulane senior and urban agriculture intern at the Latino Farmers Cooperative of Louisiana. (Photo by Ryan Rivet)

As the urban agriculture intern for the Latino Farmers Cooperative of Louisiana, Mustafa spends the lion’s share of her internship doing something that’s been her passion for some time — growing food that is free of chemicals and pesticides.

“Food is really my passion,” Mustafa says. “So organic gardening just plays into that.”

Mustafa says she first became aware of urban farming while living in Spain, where she saw that most everyone has a working garden. Following her trip, she traveled to Panama and Oregon to learn about organic gardening and now she is committed to making it a way of life.

“It’s not something that I’m just checking out,” Mustafa says. “I decided that if I was going to do this, I was going to do it right.”

Mustafa plans to make her passion her career and hopes to open a pop-up restaurant next semester that will feature modern American cuisine made from locally sourced ingredients, while keeping prices low.

“I want to focus on organic, local produce and I want to make it equitable and affordable for everyone,” Mustafa says.

Tulane University juniors and seniors can get information about opportunities like Mustafa’s at the Latino Farmers Cooperative by visiting the Center for Public Service internship fair on Wednesday (Nov. 13) from 5:30 until 7 p.m. More than 100 local organzations will be on the uptown campus looking for interns from all academic fields.

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