Reduce, Reuse, Upcycle
Ohio Wesleyan Freshman Founds Nonprofit to Provide Clothing, Shoes to Delaware County Homeless
Name: Alex Goldenberg ’25
Hometown: New York City, New York
OWU Connection Experience: Founding and operating a nonprofit organization
With assistance from the Delaware Entrepreneurial Center at Ohio Wesleyan University, Goldenberg founded Community Campus, a nonprofit organization devoted to establishing a permanent textile recycling program on the OWU campus. Community Campus “upcycles” textiles to provide clothing and shoes to homeless people in Delaware County.
Why I Chose This Experience
“I had a lot of experience working with and founding nonprofit organizations before coming to OWU,” said Goldenberg, who previously created an organization to help people in New York to break the cycle of poverty. “I chose to continue this work with the founding of Community Campus in the Delaware Entrepreneurial Center because of the sense of opportunity and cooperation present in both the OWU and Delaware County communities.”
What I’ve Learned
“I presented at the ‘Delaware Does Entrepreneurship’ event, where I received feedback from real professionals and business people from both the OWU and Delaware communities. It was a great chance for me to present the Community Campus mission to the greater OWU student body. I gained more experience speaking in public and really articulating what outcomes I want from specific events.
“It allowed me to further develop my vision for Community Campus. Specifically, when discussing ways to generate support and funding for our on-campus textile recycling system and identifying how we can approach local businesses to help sponsor and become involved in our processes.
“Community Campus also ties closely into my ‘How to Change the World’ class (UC 1006.5) in terms of identifying 21st century problems and then using all the tools and resources I have around me to collectively design a solution.”
Involving OWU Faculty
“Even before deciding Ohio Wesleyan was where I wanted to continue my academic career, Megan Ellis, the director of the Delaware Entrepreneurship Center, was extremely supportive and eager to help me begin this organization on the OWU campus.” (Ellis is a 2005 Ohio Wesleyan alumna.)
“After I chose OWU, we immediately began working together, allowing me to gain expertise from her and the other entrepreneurship center resources. She has helped connect me with a number of alumni and Ohio Wesleyan professionals like (Career Connection expert) Newton Kimberly, who has helped me with Community Campus’s strategic operations and budgeting.” (Kimberly is a 2013 OWU graduate.)
“Ellis also connected me with Mark Shipps and Jim Mendenhall. Both are OWU alumni and have great connections to the Delaware county community and the nonprofit sector. They have been very helpful at facilitating our Phi Delta Theta partnership.” (Shipps and Mendenhall are members of the OWU classes of 1970 and 1973, respectively.)
Greek Life Involvement
“Community Campus has partnered with the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity to continue to make our presence on campus known and to increase philanthropic opportunities for other students and Greek life organizations.
“They have been pivotal to our growth. We co-hosted a fundraising event for Community Campus where we raised over $200 in monetary donations and 10 large bags of clothing donations, which we are looking to process and donate now.”
Why I Chose Ohio Wesleyan
“When looking into college, I wanted strong academics combined with a caring community. From my first meeting with my admission counselor, I felt OWU embodied exactly that. I still keep in contact with my admission counselor, Dave Frohman, who has continued to add opportunities to my college career.
“Since being on campus and participating in my courses, I have enjoyed being able to approach my professors who actually know who I am. Both my fellow classmates and professors have been so approachable and genuine.”
My Plans After Graduation
“I am interested in pursuing medical school with the hopes of becoming a doctor. OWU has already begun to prepare me for this. I have had meetings in the career office working to create a strong resume and have participated in the Pre-Health Club, which has allowed me to begin to explore opportunities beyond OWU.”