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Author: Alexis McGilvery


Virtual Mentorship: McGilvery ’23 at Village Impact Project in Yellow Springs, Ohio

Oct 01, 2021

Winter co-op has been a very interesting time. From ankle-deep snow to virtual gatherings, it has given many of us quite the learning curve. This term I decided to continue as the Miller Fellow for the Village Impact Project, a non-profit that is geared towards connecting the youth of Yellow Springs, called VIPs, to mentors who live in or around the area. 

In normal times, mentors and the VIPs would meet in person and get to learn about each other. However, in current times this is a bit harder, which is where I come in. As a Miller Fellow ambassador, I help find solutions to this and other dilemmas. Some of the ideas I have helped create and produce are online zoom activities like making lava lamps, or I help by gathering information that could spawn more ideas. Unfortunately, though everyone is trying to find ways to stay active, it is still hard. For example, there was an activity event planned for the mentors and VIPs, but not a lot of people wanted to attend because everything is online. It is difficult to find ways to interact with others when you can’t be in person. However, we have been having a lot of meetings to brainstorm strategies and are hoping one of them will stick. 

Another part of my job is to help with the program’s social media. Every organization has room to grow and one of my goals is to help the Village Impact Project do so by making its social media pages more active. They have Facebook and Instagram, both of which will help promote some of the things they will be rolling out in the future. Also, they have an office that has just opened, which is really exciting for me because I get to use my own desk and I got to help decorate. 

I chose to join the Village Impact Project because they are doing their best to bring together different generations of people. Here I get to work with very passionate people and learn about how mentoring-based non-profits operate. This experience is particularly invaluable to me because I want to study business. 

This term, outside of my work at the Village Impact Project, I am taking a logic class at Antioch, which is very interesting to me because I plan to attend law or business school once I graduate. It has been going well and I think it is helping to open my mind about how I think about arguments. 

I am also reading a book called BioShock: Rapture, which focuses on a person who builds an Atlantis under the sea. It has made me really consider how much humans are focused on material gain. 

This co-op is definitely going much smoother for me than the first quarantine co-op and I’m excited to see how the future will unfold for me and the Village Impact Project. 

Photo credit:


My Co-op Journey (Quarantine Edition): Alexis McGilvery ’23

Oct 09, 2020

My first co-op has been interesting like almost everyone else’s this term. At first, I was going to work for my town’s convention center but, well, quarantine wasn’t having that. I didn’t know what to do. Then my mom invited me to go into business with her and I needed a purpose, so I accepted. As a result, I have had to relearn my way of living. In order to own a business, you have to be business-minded. Though I originally thought that is what I was, I was wrong.

A page from my journal with goals and reflection from my first boot camp session

My boot camp journal cover

At the end of April, my mom and I started attending Bootcamp, a program headed by Chanika and Edward Turner whose purpose is to help us grow and run our business. I’m not sure what I expected, but it gave me insight further than I anticipated. I have had to change my conversational and procrastination habits in order to complete the assignments. The Bootcamp program has inspired me to take charge of my day and take responsibility for my goals.  It is showing me what it means to be business-minded and not a worker bee.

One of the things that I have revived during this co-op is my reading time. I have started a reading list and the book that I am reading right now is Brain Rules by John Medina. In the book, he explains the 12 rules of the brain and how they can help improve learning and retention. I chose to make small posters about each rule as I read and they are adorning the walls of my room. This helps me be creative and reminds me of the things that I have learned.

My “Jumping into C++” book by Alex Allian

While time has been moving slowly, I still have things to be excited about. Aside from starting a business and reading again, I am going to start taking a programming course. I have been overly excited and so ready to learn to program formally. I know that this time has been hard for a lot of people, but I hope that you keep looking forward to the future. I know I will.