On June 20th, my year of service as an AmeriCorps VISTA with Campus District, Inc. comes to an end. I’ve met some phenomenal people from the Campus District’s many different local businesses, schools, artist studios, and social service agencies that are doing important work in this community and throughout Cleveland as a whole. The people in this community have been a blast to work with and learn from, and I’m grateful to have built connections with them that will last far beyond my AmeriCorps year with CDI.
The work that I've done with CDI has been a privilege, as it has not only taught me a lot, but was truly enjoyable. Leading biannual clean-ups on East 22nd Street gave me the opportunity to collaborate with the commendable organization, Cleveland Central Promise Neighborhood, Central's Resilient Youth Group, and many outstanding student groups at Cleveland State and Tri-C Metro. The 'Meet Your Neighbor' and 'Get to Know' series in the CDI e-newsletter gave me opportunities to sit down with a diverse array of people in the Campus District, allowing me a peek into these individuals' unique life experiences and informing me about some of the admirable work that they do. Monthly Homeless Congress and Homeless Bill of Rights meetings with the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless team, homeless advocates, and folks experiencing homelessness have informed me about the harsh realities of homelessness, but have also introduced me to dedicated and truly inspiring individuals. These are valuable experiences that I'll continue to hold with me not only in my professional pursuits, but in my personal life as well.
Lastly, it’s been a wonderful experience working alongside the small, but mighty staff of Mark, Rachel, and Michael. They have served as great role models to me and I’m excited to take what I’ve learned from them into my future endeavors. I’m looking forward to seeing what this staff will continue to do for the community in coming years and it was a privilege to have been a part of it. Thank you, Campus District!
- Connor O'Brien