For my current co-op, I decided to work with the Antioch College Prison Justice Initiative (PJI) on their Prison Justice Library project. The PJI was founded in 2014 by Dr. Emily Steinmetz along with Antioch students and other faculty, and works to uplift people impacted by incarceration and to start a dialogue about the criminal justice system’s impacts.
Here at the Prison Justice Library, we send books and zines to people who are incarcerated all over the country. We receive over fifty letters weekly from people all over who are requesting reading material. One of the main goals is to get as many letters filled as possible. While doing my co-op here, I work 10 hours a week to get as much done as I can. Something that I have noticed is that we lack volunteers (you can get involved here) so letters pile up weekly.
I enjoy working here because I am doing something to help others. I know for a fact that I want to help people, so working at the Prison Justice Library gives me an idea of what it’s like doing something for a good cause.
Photo credit: Dennie Eagleson
Village Impact Project is a mentoring program in Yellow Springs, Ohio whose mission is to provide children in the Yellow Springs area with responsible mentors from our community who share their interests and to help make a lifelong difference in both of their lives and in our village through monthly events with community partners. Our goals are 1) for all children in the community who want or need a mentor to have one who shares their interests, and 2) for the people in the program to become an integral part of the community through activities, fundraisers, and community services opportunities. Our motto is, “Changing our community two people at a time,” because we believe a mentoring relationship changes the adult as much as the child and that our entire community will change for the better because our young people have good role models and positive experiences within the community.
Most children involved in the program are from Yellow Springs School District, but children may also come from The Antioch School or another private school, be homeschooled, attend a school outside the district through open enrollment or an alternative school (such as the Greene County Learning Center or Outdoor Advantage through the Greene County Educational Service Center). Most children in our program are between the ages of 6-18, though exceptions can be made for older students who have not graduated by the age of 18.
My role with the Village Impact Project is focused on organization and planning fundraisers. However, my day-to-day experience is me sitting on my laptop categorizing files. Village Impact Project is a program I would be interested in continuing to work with because this experience is important for my future goal of being a social worker.
Photo credit: https://www.facebook.com/VillageImpactProject/