Townies and Trojans: Part three - The Echo News
Via Ad

Townies and Trojans: Part three

Local businesses give Taylor students opportunity

By Gabby Carlson | Echo

Upland is a small town housing a small university. But how those stories connect is what matters.

Taylor University boasts about 2,000 students and Upland has around 3,800 people according to Suburbanstats.org. When it comes to small towns, getting involved in an organization or finding a job can feel like a difficult task. With less than double Taylor’s population, Upland may be a daunting place to try to find work.

But this is not the case. Several places in Upland are either looking for volunteers or workers to strengthen the community and their business. Places such as RedBarn, Helping Hand and various youth groups in the area are always looking for volunteers.

RedBarn is a before and after school program for Eastbrook students directed by Troy Shockey. It is made possible through a partnership between Youth for Christ and Lightrider Ministries, according RedBarn’s website. As a member of the football team, junior defensive lineman Jordan Bostick said several members of the team get involved regularly.

“Having the opportunity to give back to the community that I go to school in is very valuable,” Bostick said. “Knowing the struggles that some kids go through and knowing the RedBarn is their outlet makes me want to have a positive impact. . . . I want to set an example for kids and be a positive role model for them.”

Joe on the Go is one of many Upland businesses to employ both IWU and Taylor students, such as IWU junior, Tirzah Bannach. (Photograph by Gabby Carlson)

Joe on the Go is one of many Upland businesses to employ both IWU and Taylor students, such as IWU junior, Tirzah Bannach. (Photograph by Gabby Carlson)

Getting involved in volunteer work is not the only way to participate in community life in Upland.

Peter Cho (’16) worked as an intern at the Upland Print and Stitch. The owner Andrew Preston worked out a deal with Cho to let him use his equipment and listen to his expertise in exchange for Cho’s help on small projects.

“Since being home (Chicago suburb), I have also realized the importance of not taking for granted the kindness of the community in Upland,” Cho said. “It is crazy that I could just walk in, make friends and start working with a small business and feel so welcomed.”

Working in the local businesses of Upland is beneficial to many even after college, and the owners lead the students in wisdom and by example.

“I think what (Shockey) is doing at Red Barn is only the beginning of something bigger and better,” Bostick said. “I loved being involved and would encourage people that want to find a way to impact the community to go to the RedBarn.”

Comments are closed.