Sophie Cappello ’20, a Greater New Haven area native, will serve as the inaugural Yale College Council city director, according to YCC President Kahlil Greene ’21.
Last year, YCC introduced multiple new initiatives to connect Yalies with opportunities in New Haven. For example, through the New Haven Explorers program, the YCC will sponsor a myriad of activities in the Elm City to promote students’ exposure to New Haven. YCC also announced in February that it was working on three new jobs-centered initiatives: a summer handbook for Yalies staying in New Haven, a database with New Haven jobs and a New Haven jobs fair hosted on campus.
However, according to multiple sources, little work was done on the proposals through the end of the school year and into the summer break. In the new year, YCC will continue working on just one of the three projects — the summer handbook — and will no longer pursue the others. According to Greene, Cappello will be in charge of spearheading new New Haven–centered initiatives and continuing work on the handbook.
“[Last year,] there was definitely a problem that we didn’t have the resources to really put all of our energy into all of the projects we wanted to do, and that’s a large reason why I wanted to have a city director,” Greene said.
In February of last year, when Greene served as YCC business director, he had hoped that the handbook and jobs database would be available for use by the end of spring break. But neither has materialized. The jobs database was an outgrowth of the Yale-New Haven Task Force convened by YCC last year. Its then-director, Sammy Landino ’21, has since moved on from the task force, according to Greene.
According to Cappello, she and Greene are looking to build a new team to lead the handbook project from within the YCC and also involve other players, like Assistant Dean of Student Affairs Hannah Peck and Office of Career Strategy Director Jeanine Dames, who contributed to the project during its early stages last year. Both Greene and Cappello emphasized that YCC is still forming its teams and setting its timelines for the handbook and other Elm City–related initiatives.
“Once we have those people, then we are going to start divvying up who is taking full leadership of our small various projects like the handbook,” Cappello explained. “I will be like an overseer of these various things, but whoever joins our team, in that capacity, I want them to be able to pick and choose based on their interests and they’ll become the point person for that project.”
Cappello and the YCC will also focus on new projects in this upcoming school year. Cappello and Elm City Innovation Collaborative Director Michael Harris have already held meetings about creating more opportunities for STEM-related jobs in New Haven for Yalies, Cappello said. YCC is also planning to host an arts fair of local arts clubs that may be of interest to Yalies in conjunction with the Arts Council of Greater New Haven, although that event falls under the purview of YCC Events Director Steven Orientale ’21.
Ward 1 Alder Hacibey Catalbasoglu ’19, will not be a part of YCC’s New Haven initiatives going forward as he graduated from Yale College this past May and is due to step down from the Board of Alders this December. But Greene said that the YCC wants to continue its relationship with the new Ward 1 alder once they take office.
“I’m glad YCC is working to connect more Yale students with job and internship opportunities in New Haven,” candidate for Ward 1 alder Eli Sabin ’22 said. “New Haven has a lot to offer, and everyone benefits from more student investment in the local economy. I’m looking forward to partnering with YCC on these efforts.”
The YCC was established in 1972.
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