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August 5th, 2013 by Gus

Ending a chapter

While it has been a crazy past few weeks, a lot has been accomplished in this crash course of a community outreach LEEP project. Working at the student and volunteer run Clark Community Thrift Store (CCTS), I have noticed that it always seems like there is MORE work that can be done. As an action-oriented person it is hard to wait until a later time to fix a problem because I want to make improvements now! That being said, it has been a good learning experience to stick to my goals and to only attack areas such as the website when I have extra time. By focusing on concrete objectives such as the implementation of a strategic marketing campaign, I successfully launched the Clark Community Thrift Store’s first informational marketing program, distributing over 20 handouts for display on the counters, windows, community boards and doors of local businesses and organizations.

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Our informational handout posted at the Main South CDC

Though hectic at times, being a part of the Clark Community Thrift Store has been a truly fantastic experience, and a unique opportunity to learn by doing. One thing I particularly attribute to the success of this project is its structure. At the CCTS I have found a balance between an organized framework and creative freedom. This balance has helped me to cultivate competencies in marketing, advertising, promotion, event planning, communication, public relations, project management, print media, social media, and community outreach
To develop these skills, Jenny Isler (my LEEP boss and Clark’s sustainability coordinator) has continued to push and encourage me (as all good mentors do) in many ways. One such was to attend a sustainability roundtable event at Wellesley. Since the Community Thrift Store is committed to diverting waste from local landfills (20+ tons since 2010) by reselling gently used items, this event was perfectly aligned with our mission. At the event I was struck by the number of young adults in attendance, and found it very inspiring to be surrounded by people who shared the same commitment to sustainable practices that we have.

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Students and administrators from the area attend the Wellesley sustainability roundtable event

Topics of discussion at the roundtable event included student, faculty and staff engagement, building camaraderie through environmental awareness campaigns, student energy competitions, and ways of shifting our sustainability focus from the short-term to the long-term.
Looking ahead, peer advisor training for Week One begins August 13th and with my internship coming to a close there is still work to be done! Although I am juggling many things at once, the work has been very gratifying and I am determined to find a new role at the CCTS beyond LEEP.

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