As a Communications and Marketing Assistant with the Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion (BACI), my co-op position takes place in a very unique environment. BACI is a non-profit organization that supports over a thousand individuals of all ages with developmental disabilities, and while I technically work in an administrative office there is a constant flow of people in the open hub area where I work. This is because the building is also home to the Day Services Program, where adults with disabilities start their day before venturing out into the community.
The organization is welcoming to any individuals who want to just to hang out around the offices as well. This area represents the organization’s greater goal for society: a place where people of all abilities are encouraged and free to interact. Therefore there is always something exciting happening around us, whether it’s the music of Coffee House (the bi-weekly dance party), the smell of baking cookies from cooking classes, or the rhythmic beats of drum class.
My position here has taught me a lot of new skills and knowledge. My tasks ranged from photography, filming, video editing, and blogging, to doing research on corporate memberships and donor recognition for the organization’s foundation. I have also led new community engagement projects that involved contacting local organizations and meeting with local executives. Furthermore, I learned graphic design from another co-op student in order to create posters and manuals for internal communication campaigns. The most valuable and interesting part of my position, however, has been the amazing opportunities to interact with people from all positions of life, backgrounds, and abilities.
My interests in school and in life have always related back to Human Rights, advocacy, and their relationship with public policy. As a Political Science student I had prior knowledge of policies, theories, and history related to these topics, but this position gave me genuine insight into the realities facing marginalized individuals. BACI is a fantastic organization and as its motto “Inclusion through Innovation,” expresses they are always self-reflecting and looking for new and better ways to represent and empower those they support.
Working for a non-profit is both rewarding and refreshing be- cause their existence and continuous mission is genuinely geared towards making people’s lives better. Furthermore, non-profits usually make full use of any and all resources available to them, so working for one is a great opportunity to gain a wide range of skills and experiences. I highly recommend other Co-op students get involved in the non-profit sector; it is valuable to know you are working towards helping others, and you will learn a lot in the process!
Beyond the Blog
Be sure to check out the FASS Co-op Page for more information on opportunities like Nicole's!