How big is your network?

Did you ever see those Verizon commercials, the ones that boast about the size of their network?  The Verizon network is made of a spokesperson with an army of technicians and suits who are there to support you – the customer. 

As I reflect on this year’s Cleveland Foundation interns, I was impressed at how quickly they grasped the concept of networking. They quickly friended each other through Facebook.  They followed each other on Twitter.  They set up Flickr and Facebook groups for their host site organizations.  They also made connections the old fashion way – through hand shakes, conversations and meetings. They connected to other internship programs and conducted a citywide day of service.  They gained access to the rock stars of the nonprofit sector – from the staff at small and large nonprofits, to the president of the Cleveland Foundation, to the mayor of the City of Cleveland.

This year’s intern class represented the best and brightest from area colleges and the region.  They represented diverse majors such as social work, finance, art and anthropology.  Their host sites represented the diversity of Cleveland nonprofits.  The mix of majors and nonprofits organizations was by design, we wanted the cross pollination of ideas, perspectives, interests and expertise. 

Over 11 weeks, these 16 young professionals received first hand experience about the organizations and individuals that are in the business of making change (see the list below of the names, school, placement and work assignments of the interns).  The kind of change that improves lives: neighborhood development, art, sustainable business practices, poetry, sports and economic development.  While the work was not easy, it was meaningful and helped to build the capacity of the nonprofits to which they were placed.

As we bid goodbye to the internship class of 2009, it our hope that the connections made with each other and the nonprofit community will remain.

Now picture this: an ever growing network of connected, passionate nonprofit professionals, poised ready to serve the community.

If you are a nonprofit looking to host a Cleveland Foundation intern for the summer of 2010 or if you are an intern looking for internship at the Cleveland area nonprofit, please visit our website.

The Cleveland Foundation Summer Internship Program – Class of 2009

Alison Baranowski, a graduate student of Case Western Reserve University, was placed at the Greater Cleveland Film Commission.  The mission of the Greater Cleveland Film Commission is to promote increased production of film, television, video and other types of media in NE Ohio to generate economic benefits for the region and increased job training and job opportunity for its citizenry.  Alison developed a workforce development program along with a strategy for  its implementation.

James Crumley, a junior at Kent State University, was placed at Entrepreneurship Preparatory School, which is dedicated to providing a premier educational experience to students throughout the city of Cleveland, and emphasizing individual educational growth resulting in above proficient test scores, graduation and acceptance to a four-year college or university.  James assisted with the recruitment and enrollment efforts along with the processing of student files.

Danielle Hayes, a junior at Washington University in St. Louis, was placed at Cogswell Hall, Inc., a non-profit charitable corporation that provides safe, affordable housing and supportive services to women of limited income who might otherwise be homeless.  Danielle coordinated the marketing efforts for the fall fundraising event and designed the annual report.

Heather Johnson, a graduate student at Cleveland State University, was placed at The Beck Center for the Arts, a non-profit performing arts and arts education organization dedicated to enriching the quality of life for Northeast Ohioans.  Heather created a Human Resources policy handbook that is in compliance with current laws and regulations.

Robin Konscak, a senior at The College of Wooster, was placed at Asian Services in Action, Inc., which provides linguistically and culturally relevant information and services to the Asian American and Pacific Islanders in Northeast OhioRobin helped to develop a high school leadership program and a new HIV testing program.

Stephen Love, a senior at Baldwin-Wallace College, was placed at Buckeye Area Development Corporation.  The mission of Buckeye Area Development Corporation is to plan, organize and coordinate resources and activities that will empower the community at large to enhance the quality of life through positive revitalization, stabilization and growth in the Buckeye area of the city of Cleveland.  Stephen created a merchant survey and implemented a neighborhood branding strategy.



Philomena Meluch, a senior at Notre Dame College, was placed at the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage.  The mission of the museum is to introduce visitors to the beauty and diversity of that heritage in the context of the American experience.

Philomena assisted in the organizing, developing and creation of an upcoming exhibit.


Elizabeth McFarlin, a junior at Case Western Reserve University, was placed at MOCA Cleveland, a major producer of original and compelling exhibitions, fueling its reputation as a visionary leader, and as a gathering place for experiencing contemporary art and culture and pushing the boundaries of innovation, creativity and expression.  Elizabeth developed cultivation strategies and researched foundation and corporate funding opportunities for MOCA’s annual operating program budget.

Andres Perez-Charneco, a recent graduate from Ithaca College, was placed at the Cleveland Clinic, a non-profit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education.  Andres created case studies detailing the sustainability efforts of various departments and facilities.


Sandra Petrie, a junior at the Cleveland Institute of Art, was placed at Arts Collinwood, a community based arts organization and a multi-purpose art center that houses a fine arts gallery with exhibits by local and national artists.  Sandra helped to identify and target demographics that would be interested in Arts Collingwood programming

Joshua Rothhaas, a junior at Cleveland State University, was placed at Old Brooklyn Community Development Corporation.  The mission of the corporation is to facilitate development and revitalization of the Old Brooklyn and Brooklyn Centre neighborhoods, including planning and implementation of programs which promote social, economic and civic improvements for its residents, businesses and institutions.  Joshua synthesized recommendations from planning studies into a public and interlinked website.

Lauren Sammon, a recent graduate of The Cleveland Institute of Art, was placed at St. Clair Superior Development Corporation, a performance-driven community development organization serving Cleveland’s near east side St. Clair Superior neighborhoods.  Lauren assisted with youth and arts education classes and coordinated Year of the Ox promotions and events.

Heidi Vielhaber, a junior at Cleveland State University, was placed at Art House Inc.  The mission of Art House Inc. is to nurture involvement in the arts and culture, providing opportunities for people to create, learn, and communicate ideas while encouraging self-expression, thereby strengthening the community.  Heidi created marketing materials and compiled a database of potential donors.

Kristine Wells, a graduate student at Case Western Reserve University, was placed at the University Settlement, whose mission is to enhance the quality of life for all people within the community by providing opportunities for enrichment and growth in the lives of participants of all ages.  Kristine worked on grant writing, marketing and program evaluation.


Sean Wolf, a junior at Loyola University, New Orleans, was placed at America SCORES Cleveland, whose mission is to empower students in urban communities using soccer, writing, creative expression and service-learning.  Sean assisted in the creation of Financial Benchmarks and draft budget for 3 years.

Melissa Wood, a senior at The College of Wooster, was placed JumpStart, whose mission accelerates the growth of innovative early stage businesses and ideas into venture ready companies through providing a continuum of resources to entrepreneurs and the communityMelissa researched and catalogued stories of successful disruptive innovations and the role of risk capital.