Cooper Sheldon is currently serving in a unique position with the Stewards Individual Placement Program as a VISTA. Cooper is currently serving with the Heritage Initiative from the Calumet Collaborative Project in Chicago, IL and is earning credits towards his Graduate Degree with Michigan Tech University. A partnership between Stewards IPP and Michigan Tech allow VISTA members to use their VISTA service as an opportunity to combine academic course work with practical field experience. The Calumet National Heritage Area Initiative works with a formed network of heritage-based museums, local history centers, and community groups located throughout the Calumet region to surface and activate heritage assets. The area spans southeast Chicago, south Cook County, and northwest Indiana.
Cooper’s work is focused on helping build community capacity and improve quality of life by working with the local community. Over the course of his service term, he has worked on developing programs that centered on utilizing the Calumet Heritage Partnerships ACME/Interlake Facilities industrial artifacts. He has been sharing his work by attending academic conferences as a presenter throughout the year.
The programming ideas he has developed have been proposed to engage local heritage-based community groups in the formation and delivery of the programs. After this service term, Cooper has only a few more credits left at Michigan Tech to earn his Graduate Degree.