By Danny Lemos, Student Media Coordinator
It should be no surprise that companies have been generous to ASI. You need only to look at how many donations are made to the Beach Pantry and the Basic Needs program on campus, but it’s not really the companies being generous. It’s the people who work at those companies. The flip side of the generosity equation are employees at ASI who connect us to those companies, like Jesse Avella. Jesse is the Safety and Training Coordinator at ASI, and it was by way of Jesse and his relationships outside of work that we received a terrific benefit.
The internship program at 22 West Media and the Department of Journalism and Public Affairs were partnering for an event that would be a bootcamp for broadcast and print journalists and public affairs students. A “Red Carpet Master Class” was planned. A step and repeat backdrop was ordered and 22 West had a 10’ x 2’ red runner that would have to suffice as a red carpet. I remembered Jesse had said he worked for a carpet manufacturer prior to his start at ASI. Within an hour, Jesse had arranged for a truck to pick up a donation from Bentley Mills, Inc. in the City of Industry and the next day we had 40 feet of 4 foot wide dense red carpet. If this wasn’t a remnant of the real thing, I don’t know what would be.
Watching Jesse among the people he had left to join our team, it was clear “the good stuff” is not about the corporation but the people. Jesse was clearly missed by former coworkers and it was for the same things he brings to ASI - joviality, comradery and a passion for doing the right thing. Bentley Mills did the right thing through their employees in providing us with a beautiful red carpet at no expense, but it was only through people like Jesse Avella that the benefit was received by the students at 22 West and the Journalist & Public Relations department.