Current Middlebury junior Cate Costley worked as a MiddCOREplus intern this past summer. Cate’s work was specifically with the Charter House Coalition, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing food and housing to people in need in and around Middlebury, Vermont.
One of the key projects Cate worked on was collecting the stories of individuals who benefit from the assistance provided by the Charter House Coalition. After conducting interviews, recording individuals’ voices and editing the transcripts, Cate compiled her work into a series of newspapers articles that were published in the local newspaper, The Addison County Independent, in early October. The goal of these articles was to increase awareness of hunger and homelessness in the Middlebury community by putting a name and voice to these issues.
Here, Cate reflects on the article formulation and publication process: “I am thrilled to see the articles in print. It is exciting that I am able to share my work from this summer with the broader Middlebury community in newspaper form. All through the process, my MiddCORE mentors and fellow interns inspired me and challenged me to make this project a reality. Now that it has reached its culmination, I am proud of my resilience and determination in making it happen – and I couldn’t have done it without MiddCORE skills and support.”
The Addison County Independent does not allow online access to the articles to non-subscribers, but an excerpt from the one of the articles is published with permission here.
A brief excerpt from one of Cate’s articles, as it appeared in The Addison County Independent:
“At the beginning of the summer, I sometimes found myself frustrated and critical when someone pushed to the front of the line or piled their plate high with cookies or demanded five takeouts from me. I judged people with body odor or those reeling from drugs. But with time and from watching the other volunteers and mentors, I saw that my frustration and disparagement were small-minded. We all carry pain with us, some more than others, and I need to do what I can to lessen that pain. I need to be the smiling face and the voice that says, “Yes, of course I can do that for you” when everyone else said no and slammed the door.
As I move forward, I hope to bring this awareness and compassion with me.
As I move forward, I will remember how the community of people at lunch and supper opened its arms and hearts to me – freely and graciously. They welcomed me to their lives and shared their stories with me.
I will remember their faces and their voices. They have taught me so much.
I want to thank them, and I want to invite you to join us at Community Lunch or Supper one day. The door is open, the welcome is warm and there are always stories to share.”