Choosing a conscious co-op to actively help people
Jackson Ibelle, a Northeastern University student, and his co-op life took a ‘foodie’ turn when he found out he was assigned to be responsible for organising the biggest fundraiser of that year, by the name ‘The Foodie Crawl’. His co-op was with East Somerville Main Streets, which is a nonprofit organisation, striving to improve the life of East Somerville Community. “I grew up in a city, I went to public schools, so I saw the issues people are dealing with,” he said, remembering his home, Rhode Island. “I knew it was something I cared about and I wanted to focus on the stuff I cared about.”
He purposely chose East Somerville Main Streets, as, according to him, it provided him with an opportunity, “to work directly with community members and get a lot of different experience at the same time.”
The Executive Director of East Somerville Main Streets, Teresa Vazquez-Dodero, lauds Ibelle and other Northeastern co-op students, saying how much contributory they were in growing the reach of the organisation. Ibelle, along with the praiseworthy work with the fundraiser, usually works on the website, which will highlight the local businesses and events.
In light of his exceptional work, Vazquez-Dodero said, “He’s also been amazing at connecting East Somerville Main Streets with different departments at Northeastern to attract volunteers for the event. This is an event that requires 60 to 70 volunteers, but we’ve run a smooth event with 50% of that. Thanks to Jackson, there’s a big chance that we’re going to have our dreams come true this year as far as being able to run it at full capacity.”
This sociology graduate finds pleasure in working dedicatedly for other people. “I get to build relationships with people and help them have a voice within the city, connecting them to resources they might otherwise not have,” Ibelle said. “We’re just going to keep doing the things we do for the community to be a success.”