Learning about EJ

“ACE is such a special place for me.”

Kathleen O'Brien
ACE Member

Kathleen was a Development & Communications Intern from 2008 to 2009.

ACE Member Kathleen O'Brien

I grew up in Everett, and I'm now coordinating Energize Everett, a new city-wide wellness program. Before that, I was an intern at ACE—I miss it like crazy!

I learned about ACE when I was looking for an internship for my sociology and environmental studies. I thought, I need to be there, I don't care what it takes. The minute I stepped into the office I knew it was right. It was so colorful and welcoming and warm, with this overwhelming sense of determination and passion. I was instantly hooked!

ACE really stays true to its mission. There is a common sense of justice and equality. When I went to the first staff meeting, I couldn't believe how well everyone worked together. Everyone has that same goal of community power and community ownership.

Working in Roxbury, I realized that Everett is also an environmental justice community. We have a power plant, huge areas of industrial land and the largest area of produce distribution in the state. There is so much pollution and so many trucks that pass through Everett.

Since I grew up here, I never thought anything was wrong. But now I know power plants aren't good for the environment or for the community. I realized environmental problems were probably the reason four of my aunts and uncles have died from cancer.
As an intern, I learned how to write blogs and articles, and how to fundraise successfully. Those skills have helped me a lot. If it weren't for ACE, there's no way I'd have the job I have now or be doing the work I do now.

ACE is such a special place for me. Being an intern is a great start to getting involved in a successful community organization. I highly recommend interning at ACE!

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