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Final Intern Blog: Brandon Smith

During my brief time with LEAP I have learned a lot about cooperatives and have met some great people who are passionate about what they do. My focus has been on the benefits of cooperatives. I had come into the project knowing very little about cooperatives. I had only encountered them in passing throughout my history studies so I bought a few books and spent my first couple weeks reading and taking notes.

The more I learned, the more I realized I had overcomplicated my project. The benefits of cooperatives are rather straightforward. Wages are more equitably distributed, the workplace is democratic and cooperatives are more stable during times of economic crises. This experience has been great on both a professional and personal level.

Professionally, this will open doors for me in the political and activist sector. It has also made me more aware of how businesses function and how they could be better places to work for their workers. Regardless of what I do professionally, I will always be able to take the knowledge with me.

Cooperatives are slowly but steadily emerging across the US. I hope to be a part of the wave and help usher in a new era of more equitable workplaces.