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The Co-Op

What is the Co-Op?

CCECo-op-TeamPhotoFullA cooperative, or co-op, is an association in which people work toward a common purpose or benefit through a jointly-owned and democratically managed enterprise. In the business world, a cooperative is a way for people to meet their own needs through a company that is owned and operated by the people who use its products and services. The CCE's student staff Co-Op is the structure through which students can guide, direct, and take joint ownership of the work of the CCE. Our goal is to equitably share voice, power, decision-making, and meaning-making of our office with students.

In short, this is what we have been building it to become! We have been building the foundation for this current structure to exist over the past two years, where now student employees make up the backbone of all of our student programs and have a defined role in the collective visioning of the engaged work we, as a campus, participate in. The Co-Op started back in the summer of 2018, under the guidance of CCE Director Jordan Travis Radke with support of the assistant director and paraprofessional at the time, with five main coalitions: Prison Project, Refugee Alliance, Education, Political Advocacy, and Sustainable Community Development. The first two coalitions, Prison Project and Refugee Alliance, are both student organizations that served as examples for what an integrated coalition focused on a single issue-area could look like, while the last three were newly formed groups. As this was the first year of the Co-Op, the main focus was on connecting students within each designated issue-area, and on thinking through what relevant campaigns or projects could be hosted that would support the mission of the coalition.


How does the Co-Op operate within the CCE?

The Co-Op lives at the CCE, which means interns are advised by CCE staff and supported by office resources, however it is a space run primarily by students in collaboration with CC faculty and staff members, and community members. Our student interns enhance the quality of all our programs at the CCE, including student-facing work, faculty and staff engagement, and community partnership building. They are integral to our office's functioning, for they support our ability to continue ramping up our scope of work while retaining the same level of support for all of our stakeholders.

How does the Co-Op relate to the CCE's mission?

There are four main priorities for the Co-Op, which align with our office's strategic mission and goals. These are the main reasons this structure has been adopted by the CCE:

  1. Formalize student leadership and voice within the CCE staffing structure
  2. Support, through peer-to-peer mentorship and monetary means, student-driven and locally-centered community organizing efforts
  3. Create a space for collaborative efforts on the Colorado College campus
  4. Create a stronger intracampus network to support the connection of work at CC to beyond the campus

Coalition Goals:

  • Enhanced shared identity among student organizations within issue areas
  • Shared and public forum for all interested individuals and groups to come together, connect with each other, learn from each other, and create with each other
  • Potentially one of the following: A co-created campaign action, either internal or external; Co-created project, either white paper or event-oriented; Co-created awareness week, with multiple events, actions and that involves on- and off-campus partners; or Co-created capacity-building project where focus can be for on- and off-campus

What is the structural breakdown of the Co-Op?

There are two main components of the CCE Co-Op structure: the Board of Directors, and the Coalitions. The former consists of two Co-Directors who oversee the entire Co-Op-- the Community Engaged Fellows Co-Director and the Community Engaged Scholars & Leaders Co-Director-- as well as three Assistant Directors who report to the Co-Directors. The three Assistant Director positions are for Community Partnerships, Student Organizations, and BreakOut. While each individual member of the Board of Directors has a specific focus-area, they all collectively work together to make sure their specific constituents are connected to each other, and to the resources that each of the focus areas offers. They also collectively support the work of the Coalitions. The Issue Organizers are a group of interns who each have an issue-area coalition that they oversee on behalf of the CCE. They are designated peer facilitators and connectors for students, staff, faculty, and community partners who either want to find an on-ramp to work in that issue-area or who already have relevant events, opportunities, and knowledge that could be shared and built upon.

 

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Why join the Co-op?

  • To transform ideas about change into actions
  • To sharpen skills like:
    • Community organizing
    • Volunteer management
    • Event planning
    • Public relations/communications
    • Qualitative research
  • To gain research experience
    • Potential foundation for a senior thesis
    • Ideal writing sample for certain job applications
    • Useful skill for students interested in studying/working on public policy
  • To access campus & community mentors
  • To earn hours towards CES, CEL & CEF requirements

 

Co-Op Students

Directors

 

Student Director of the Bonner Fellowship

Vacant
Email:

Major:

Bio:



Lasher23

Student Director of Community Engaged Scholars and Leaders

Gillian Lasher '23
Email: g_lasher@ColoradoCollege.edu

Major: Environmental Studies

Bio: My primary goal is to work with nonprofits that are focused on addressing environmental issues while creating authentic community relationships. I have loved exploring this interest through my involvement with the CC Office of Sustainability, BreakOut, and a few Fort Collins-based nonprofits, such as Trees, Water & People and the Sustainable Living Association.

I look forward to building genuine connections with all CES and CEL students as we work together to develop community partnerships. It is my utmost priority to create an inclusive, equitable and welcoming space for all students and organizations as a servant leader. My life motto is to walk and lead with love, and I intend to implement this philosophy in all my work at the CCE.

 

Student Director of Student Organizations

Vacant
Email:

Major:

Bio:

 

Student Director of BreakOut

Vacant
Email:

Major:

Bio:

 

Do23.jpg

Student Director of Public Achievement

Anh Do '23
Email: a_do@ColoradoCollege.edu

Major:

Bio:

 

 

 

Metcalfe22

Student Director of Community Partnerships

Andra Metcalfe '22
Email: a_metcalfe@ColoradoCollege.edu

Major: Sociology

Bio: I have always had a passion for law, politics, and social justice, but my interest in community organizing (and in sociology) was sparked by an off-campus study program I completed last fall in Minneapolis called "Inequality in America: Policy, Community, and the Politics of Empowerment." The program was fantastic and really tuned me into the importance of organizing work and best practices. During my time in Minnesota, I worked as a public policy intern at HOME Line (a statewide tenant legal advocacy nonprofit). Since then, I have also worked as the CC volunteer coordinator with Colorado Springs food Rescue, and as a Public Interest Fellow with the Colorado Center on Law and Policy. Additionally, last summer I worked as an intern with Senator Michael Bennet's office in Denver.

I am most looking forward to developing relationships with other students who are passionate about organizing, as well as learning and connecting with local partner organizations. More broadly, my goal is for these relationships to not only help build upon existing connections between CC students and local community organizers, but also to create new ones. I hope to encourage CC students to understand and get excited about the importance and potential of local community organizing but also be aware of best practices that allow organizing to actually be beneficial within a community.

 

 


Issue Organizers

  


Vacant
Email:

Issue: K-12 Education and Youth Organizing
Major:

Bio: 

 


Vacant

Email:

Issue: Poverty & Inequity
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Bhutani22.jpgSurbhi Bhutani '22
Email: s_bhutani@ColoradoCollege.edu

Issue: Racial Equity (liaison with CAL, the Collective for Anti-Racism & Liberation)
Major:

Bio: 

 

 

 

Byron23.jpgTom Byron '23
Email: t_byron@ColoradoCollege.edu

Issue: Political Advocacy
Major:

Bio:

 

 

 

Geronimo24Denise Geronimo '24
Email:
d_geronimo@ColoradoCollege.edu

Issue: Criminal Justice (aligns with Prison Project)
Major: International Political Economy

Bio: Hey, everyone! I'm Denise Geronimo, and I am from Memphis, Tennessee. I have lived in Memphis for all 18 years of my life, and I'm a biased, but it's the best city around. Both of my parents moved to Tennessee from the Philippines to pursue their careers, but neither of them decided to teach me their language (I'm only a little bitter.) Throughout high school, I participated in the worldwide organization Facing History and Ourselves as a facilitator and an ambassador, working with other students to promote conversations within our community about low-voter turnouts, gun violence, and youth incarcerations. I also engaged in community service through BRIDGES USA, a Memphis, youth-led organization, and volunteered at the Madonna Learning Center, a wonderful special needs school. I'm interested in studying International Relations, and my hobbies include biking, kickboxing, and unhealthy binge-watching.

 

Grzech23Wiktoria Grzech '23
Email: w_grzech@ColoradoCollege.edu

Issue: Gender & Sexuality
Major: Economics and Business

Bio: Hi everyone! My name is Wiki and I am junior majoring in Economics and Business. I am originally from Poland but before coming to CC I went to an international high school in Italy which was centered around community service as well as international understanding and sustainability. In terms of my experience with community engagement I worked for various causes including taking care of elderly or educating disadvantaged children as well as led my own social change projects focused on gender equality and homeless youth education. Over the past year I have developed great interest in mental and sexual health as well as wellness and holistic self-care and I am extremely excited to make my experience of use to the Health and Accessibility coalition. In my free time I love to swim, lift weights and pick up new languages.

 

Angelina ChenMisbah Lakhani '24
Email:
 m_lakhani@ColoradoCollege.edu

Issue: Health & Accessibility
Major: Undecided

Bio: Hey y'all! My name is Misbah Lakhani. I am a sophomore at CC and interested in Sociology and Neuroscience at the moment. I'm from Houston, Texas, but born, raised, and native to Pakistan. Even during my time in Pakistan, my parents knew I had a special passion for medicine, taking care of my family members when they were sick and looking up home remedies at the little age of six. After moving, in high school I was introduced to medicine in a very hands on way. By training I am CPR, BLS and OSHA certified, have drawn people's blood, shadowed at the Memorial Herman Hospital in the Texas Medical Center for two years, and created a partnership between Shriners Hospital for Children and my high school. With all the knowledge I gained during my experiences, I was able to be a teen advisory board member for the University of Texas at Austin's Teen Clinic in the Texas Medical Center and with Unity, a consortium advocating for vaccines in the US. Personally, healthcare and medicine are basic human rights, and throughout my high school career, I've tried to use my position in order to make healthcare more accessible to the greater Houston community, especially teens, and hope to continue to do so during college!


Mott24.jpgFinn Mott '24

Email: f_mott@ColoradoCollege.edu

Issue: Arts & Media for Social Change
Major: Business, Economics, and Society

Bio: Finn Mott is a Sophomore at Colorado College. He is passionate about telling stories, creating positive social change, and discovering the power in adversity. He strives to one day open up his own nonprofit that helps youth overcome both their mental and physical struggles through various creative mediums. Finn is a published poet and is always looking for new ways to make a difference.

 

 

Owusu-Ansah24Peniel Owusu-Ansah '24
Email: p_owusuansah@ColoradoCollege.edu

Issue: Immigrant & Refugee Justice Coalition (aligns with Refugee Alliance)
Major: Political Science and Sociology

Bio: Hello everyone! My name is Peniel Owusu-Ansah (she/her). I am currently a sophomore, and I intend to double major in Political Science and Sociology. I was born and raised in a West African country called Ghana, and I moved to the United States several years ago. I have been involved in several advocacy groups, including being an ambassadorship with the Colorado Crisis Services. The reason I want to lead this coalition is because of my background as an immigrant. I believe my experience and insight can be used as a resource to create opportunities to interact and help this community. I hope that this coalition will assist immigrants and refugees in having an easier transition to a new culture and country.

 

Vera22.jpgAnna Vera '22
Email: a_vera@ColoradoCollege.edu

Issue: Environment & Ecology
Major:

Bio: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Report an issue - Last updated: 09/02/2021