After graduating from Ursinus College in May of 2018 with a major in Environmental Studies and a minor in Biology, Allie Cook began a year of service with FoodCorps in Indian Township, Maine at the Indian Township School.
After graduating from Ursinus College in May of 2018, I moved back home to North Reading, Massachusetts and started my own business. It was called Allie’s Odd Jobs and all summer long I helped people with home improvement projects. I painted rooms in people’s houses, did yard work, walked people’s dogs, and even built a fence around someone’s raised bed garden in order to keep out bunnies. This was probably one of the best summer jobs I have ever had and totally recommend it if you are looking for something to do. You will be surprised at how many jobs people have around the house.
Then at the beginning of August, I started a year of service as a FoodCorps AmeriCorps Service Member, at the Indian Township School in Indian Township, Maine. The school is located on the Passamaquoddy Indian Reservation and I help to connect the students to healthy fruits and vegetables through hands-on lessons and interacting with them in the cafeteria. Every week I teach hands-on lessons to students grade pre-K to 5th grade about food choices, gardening, and basic nutrition. I also provide a weekly a Taste Test for students to try new vegetables and rate how much they like it. There is nothing quite like seeing a student’s eye light up when they try butternut squash for the first time and love it!
Impact of Ursinus
My time in the Environmental Department has provided me with direction for what I want to do in life. All throughout high school I worked on a farm and knew that I wanted to have some type of job that deals with food and agriculture. My classes in the ENV department confirmed that. Taking courses like Community and Sustainable Food Systems and Advanced Critical Thinking along with my Capstone designing the WERS Food Forest introduced me to opportunities surrounding food that I did not even know were out there. The passion my professors showed in their classes inspired me to follow my dreams.
I have also made lifelong friends at Ursinus and in the Environmental Department. Friends that I know will help me throughout the rest of my life. Some of these friends I made the first week of Freshman year and others I made during my Senior year. That is the best part about Ursinus: you never know who you are going to meet!
Piece of Advice
If your heart isn’t in it, don’t do it. I played a sport for two years at Ursinus, but during my Junior year, I didn’t really want to play anymore. There were too many other activities I wanted to be a part of that the sport was taking away from. It was a hard decision to make but it opened so many more doors. College is too short to do activities that you don’t want to be a part of, make sure you are always making the most out of what you do.