Cole Merkel, RC 2010, History and Creative Writing & Literature
After graduating from the RC in spring 2010 I took my concentrations in LSA History and RC Creative Writing to a magical, western land of bridges and bicycles known to some as Portlandia. I started an Americorps position with Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest as program coordinator for Operation Nightwatch, a weekend, after-hours hospitality center for people experiencing homelessness and social isolation. I spent my second Americorps term as the vendor and editorial program assistant at Street Roots, Portland's newspaper, social voice and income empowerment resource for individuals living in poverty. In August, I was hired full-time as the Street Roots Vendor Coordinator, which places me in direct service on a daily basis with individuals living on the streets. Amongst my many tasks, I run a weekly creative writing workshop for my vendors, and help manage the organization's social media presence.
In personal life, I live in SE Portland with Elena Levin (a friend I made in the first week of RC intensive French), David Nestor (a former housemate in the ICC co-ops) and their cat, Fiona Apple.
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