Touching lives with history

By Julie Householder | 

Each day hundreds of visitors flood through the Castillo de San Marcos’ gates itching to be immersed in its history. On the other side of the drawbridge awaits Caroline Parson, a current sophomore studying public history at Flagler College, eager to share the fort’s history.

This is Parson’s second semester interning at the Castillo and she has found that this historical site has served as a platform to share her passion with visitors from around the world.

“I was doing my first internship here at the Castillo and I was sitting here at this desk,” she said. “I realized how much I loved connecting with visitors and telling history.”

Parson carries out four-hour shifts a couple times a week to do presentations and programs, meet and greet visitors and facilitate crowd control.

Her favorite part of working at the fort is “getting the chance to bring history alive and seeing people actually make a connection to the history I’m telling them,” she said. “Knowing that they’re going to be able to take that away with them from the Castillo here, and knowing that at least in some regards I hopefully touched their lives with history.”

It was crucial to choose an internship that would help Parson find the kind of work in public history that would interest her. She encourages other students to try to approach internships with a career-oriented mindset, and use internships as a way to find direction towards a career path.

“I hope that anybody can find an internship like this, at least a job that to me is worthwhile — that doesn’t feel like a job, but a place where you can express your passion,” she said.

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