Where It All Began

Vision Road Sign

Make your vision a reality!

Like most other nonprofits, CO-OP is the realization of a dream.  What started as a simple idea to do good work, has now grown into a multi-faceted organization that is set to make great strides in the next few years.  So far, we have helped hundreds of kids attend college and have provided their families with case-management and referral services.

It all started over a series of several dinners.  Where the three of us – myself, DeShawn, and Zolita – decide we wanted to start an agency that would help us do an even better job helping kids go to college.  Our primary purpose at that time was to stop the perpetuation of what we dubbed the “Only the Lonely Club.”  In this instance, it would be graduates of programs that would successfully assist a first-generation student in completing college.  But the support would typically stop there, resulting in that person presumably being the only one in their family to break the cycle of poverty.

Having been the only ones in our family, at that time, to complete college, we each felt an enormous amount of pressure.  In many ways, you become the default “go-to” person for your family.  While  you do your best to be supportive and to provide assistance in any way you can, it is often a lonely “club” to be in and you can find yourself struggling to fill shoes that are way too big.

Another interesting piece of our history is that we decided on the acronym, CO-OP, before we came up with a company name.  You can thank DeShawn for that.  I insisted that we select a name that would be able to grow just as the agency would, and has.

So that’s it in a nutshell – how the vision for CO-OP was born.  Of course we have expanded our vision over the years.  But, ultimately, our original goal still stands.  We are proud to serve as a source of support not only for our students, but for their families and neighbors as well!


Vote With Your Mission with CalNonproifts!

CalNonprofits Vote Your Mission Logo

How can you vote with your mission?

CO-OP has been a member of the California Association of Nonprofits (CalNonprofits) for several years now.  CalNonprofits provides much needed support to nonprofits throughout the state, particularly to community-based agencies, such as ours.  CO-OP is Co-Sponsoring Cal-Nonprofit’s exciting new initiative: Vote With Your Mission! We want to bring their newest initiative to your attention and invite you to join us in signing on.  We are working hard to show a strong presence from the So Cal area!  If you have already signed-on, please help me spread the word by sharing this post with other agenicies in the area.

The purpose of Vote with Your Mission is to re-frame the nonprofit sector as a significant segment of the voting public and to increase the number of people voting with the ideals and values that bring them into the nonprofit sector, the campaign aims to have 100% of eligible nonprofit staff, board members, and volunteers vote.

Launched on May 1 with more than 40 participating organizations from across the state, Vote with Your Mission aims to galvanize the power of the nonprofit community leading up to the June and November 2012 elections.  We hope that your agency will join us on the growing list of nonprofits that have signed on to Vote with Your Mission.

Signing on to the campaign is simple: Your organization must pledge to undertake two of six action items listed in the attached campaign summary, such as ask all staff, board members, volunteers, and constituents to vote and provide nonpartisan voter registration materials on site.  That’s it.

If you are as energized by this campaign as I am, your organization can also sign up as a co-sponsor by agreeing to reach out to 15 other nonprofits and asking them to join the campaign.

Vote with Your Mission aims to galvanize the power of the nonprofit community and emphasize the importance of voting for the ideals and values that have brought each of us to our nonprofit work.  Too often nonprofits shy away from anything “political.” But we have a right – and indeed – a duty to be heard.  Encouraging our volunteers and staff members to vote is a first step toward this important goal.

Again, I invite you to join CO-OP in committing to this new initiative.  Show your support by clicking on the link above and providing your contact information.  It is that simple!
P.S. Don’t forget to let them know that you were referred by CO-OP.