Monday, October 23, 2017
Interview by: Tara Santora
September 27, 2017
Hannah Rosenberg is an Oberlin College graduate who now lives in Oberlin and works at Oberlin Community Services as the Food Programs Coordinator.
Q: How did you come to work at Oberlin Community Services (OCS)?
A: I went to Oberlin College. When I was a sophomore I did the OCS Winter Term [internship]. It completely changed my life. I learned so many things about this community that I hadnt known and that Oberlin College didnt teach me. I found a family here, and I fell in love. I have been here in some capacity ever since. I was a summer intern; I was a volunteer; I was a Bonner leader; it was my site for various seminars that required community engagement for the rest of my time at school. Then I finished and I stayed. Right out of school I took a job as one one two volunteer coordinators here. In March my predecessor left his job and I am now Food Programs Coordinator.
"When I was a sophomore I did the OCS Winter Term [internship]. It completely changed my life."
"A community center where people can come together and get a variety of their needs met is vitally important."
Q: How do you see Oberlin Community Services relating to a bigger picture?
A: OCS is incredible. Its not without its problems; it struggles with a lot of things. Its a non-profit. It suffers from lots of things that are nonprofit industrial complex-y. Its not perfect, but I have also worked for many nonprofits, and I have never seen a nonprofit try as hard as OCS does or look those issues in the eye as much as OCS does. That doesnt mean its immune or has fixed everything, but it does mean that I trust that were trying. Thats really incredible. Also, having a community center where people can come together and get a variety of their needs met is vitally important.
Q: What have you learned by interacting with community members through Oberlin Community Services?
A: This community is bomb. Its really awesome. The people are amazing. The cool thing about this place is that it struggles with all of the things that are happening at a national scale, that the nation is struggling with as a whole, but also its a vibrant, fighting community. People are doing the work here every day. Thats not necessarily always seen, but its really happening. There are really incredible people who are doing amazing things who are really exciting, really inspiring.
Also, this is a farming community. A lot of the food system-related knowledge that has been lost in other places in the country and that is perpetuating this unsustainable food system hasnt been lost here. It is surviving here in pockets. That is really beautiful and important.
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