We’re proud that this year UC Berkeley’s Haas Cohort day at APC is a twelve year tradition! Every year in August, for the past twelve years, Haas’s incoming first year class spends an afternoon volunteering their time at Alameda Point Collaborative. The student volunteers have been able to throw their efforts into an array of projects, including playground maintenance for the kids, work in our social enterprises, Farm2Market and Ploughshares Nursery, and also light painting projects. This year Cohort Day was a smashing success yet again.
The student volunteers worked tirelessly on beautification projects at the 677 W. Ranger office, where they lined our landscaped areas, pruned, weeded, laid mulch, and painted indoors. Volunteers also did amazing and hard work at the farm, where they prepared a large soil mound for leveling, cleared fence lines, and aggressively weeded the orchard, leaving it ready for Fall produce production. At Ploughshares Nursery, cohorts engaged in more hard work. They used their energy to cut through over grown grape plants, move structures to better utilize space, and in general helped to upkeep the beautiful and ever expanding nursery that houses, and grows all California-native, drought resistant and pesticide free horticulture. The final group of team members tended to the playground near the community garden, washing it, leveling mulch, and removing any debris. Many of the kids from our Children and Youth program rolled up their sleeves and joined in the efforts! By the time everyone was done it practically sparkled.
The amazing work that the Haas volunteers do every year at APC is so much appreciated and we actively look forward to Cohort Day. The partnership between the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley and Alameda Point Collaborative is special, as we celebrate the fruit of joint support in our East Bay community. The MBA program is also partnered with the Special Olympics, whose mission is to provide sports training and competition in a variety of Olympic style sports for kids and adults with intellectual disabilities. Additionally, Haas partners with the non profit organization Reading Partners, whose goal is to help children become lifelong readers through the empowerment of communities to provide individual instruction with measurable results.
Haas works within the Challenge for Charities family, a non-profit that employs the amazing amount of energy and ability in MBA students to benefit their communities. Challenge for Charity (C4C) was started by a Stanford MBA grad in 1984. Cal Berkeley and Stanford were the first schools to make up C4C, but the non-profit has since expanded, now having chapters in 9 top West Coast business schools, including USC, USF and Pepperdine. The organization’s goal is “to develop business leaders with a lifelong commitment to social responsibility and community involvement.” With plenty of friendly competition among the schools, the students are motivated by the rewards of giving back, as well as the comradery that develops during volunteer times, fundraisers such as the Polar Plunge, and sport competitions between the schools (USC is the reigning champ for 2016).
This year, the Haas class of 2018 enjoyed a short presentation about the APC community given by APC’s Fund Development Director, Brandy Muniz. She discussed our mission as a supportive housing community, and the type of projects that the student volunteers would engage in, as well the importance of volunteers at APC in the continuity of our mission. Afterwards, at the site, we had so much fun getting to know some of the volunteers, and watching the team spirit that resulted from the cohort teams.
The class is separated into 4 groups, with about 60 members in each cohort: Oski cohort, Gold cohort, Blue cohort, and Axe cohort. The day started off with a bang as APC introduced its own friendly competition to the teams, offering bragging rights to the winner of a social media competition. Axe won, gathering over 140 likes for their picture on APC’s Instagram. What a great day it was indeed, full of community sharing, lots of sunshine, and of course, champion crowning. Way to go, Axe! Let’s see if you can keep hold of your championship status next year at Cohort Day 2017!