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Young member story: Quinton Rodriques

The way Quinton Rodriques describes his childhood at Cole Road Co-op in Guelph, Ontario, brings to mind idealized visions of a long-ago era: “I always knew I could always just knock on a neighbour’s door. All the kids from the co-op would play outside together all day, until it was time to come home for dinner.”

Growing up participating in events like the co-op’s annual clean-up day, it was a natural step for Quinton to get involved in volunteering in his community. In high school, he volunteered at a soup kitchen, and was part of the leadership team at his church’s youth group. At 18, he also became the youngest-ever member on his co-op’s Board of Directors.

Quinton also received a Diversity Scholarship from the Central Ontario Co-operative Housing Federation (COCHF), which he described as “one of the biggest blessings of my life.” With the support of the Diversity Scholarship program, Quinton is now in his second year of a Computer Science program at Carleton University in Ottawa.

Naomi Cho, COCHF’s Executive Director, commented, “Quinton exemplifies the co-operative spirit upon which our movement draws its strength. He is a co-op youth who is sincere, enthusiastic, and represents the best of our sector’s future bright lights.”

When asked about what is most important to him about belonging to a co-op, Quinton mentions growing up with people from a wide variety of backgrounds and walks of life.

“Without diversity,” he says, “there’s no room for change or growth. Getting to see outside my own perspective like that has helped me solve problems at school and work by having insight into other people’s experiences.”