All 4 One, One for their Community: Student recalls lessons from LISC CASHIN Summer Fellowship

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by Ashlynn Cottoy

There are three words that I’ve repeated to almost anyone who let me this summer: I love my job. Through working with All For One, I have learned about housing, community outreach, and non profits. This knowledge is perfect for someone like me whose passion is social justice.

Through being a part of student organizations in high school and college, I learned to reach out to people through social media and emails. While at Restoration, I have gained the confidence to
do outreach on a personal level. When going out with the community coaches, I have been flyering and having one on one conversations with people in the community. This is definitely a skill that I will bring to my student organizations and future extra curricular activities. Before All For One, I did not know much about housing in New York City. I would see acronyms like “NYCHA” and “HRA” across the city, but it usually blew over my head. Now, thanks to attending the New York Housing Conference and asking my team questions, I am able to put pieces of my own life into the context of the housing crisis and know that I am not alone.

The main reason why All For One and Bed Stuy Restoration Corporation has been such a joyful experience for me is that it has helped me to become more motivated and passionate about social justice. In my everyday environments, I am constantly talking to people about big topics like the racial wealth gap, and I often feel overwhelmed because there are so many steps needed to solve the problem. All For One has reinforced the idea that the little things really make a difference.

Helping just one person to obtain a job, financial coaching, computer literacy, and other services plays a huge role in closing the racial wealth gap. All for One and Restoration helps a large sum of people every day, and by sitting in meetings and overhearing clients, I know that the cdc is making a lifelong impact. Everyone that I have encountered in the office is passionate about the work that they do and I feel like I can relate to them through that passion. As a sociology major and a student who intends to take a social justice focus with her future legal career, I am often told that I need to be more practical, so that I can find a job. However, through working with All For One, I learned that jobs surrounding my passion are out there. Maybe one day during or after my legal career I’ll cross paths with Restoration!