I believe I was in the 10th grade when I decided I was going to move as far away from Cleveland as I possibly could. I dreamed of graduating from high school, leaving for college and only returning for holidays and special events. Yet life took me in a different direction that has led me to my current position as an intern for the Cleveland Foundation. Placed with the Union Miles Development Corporation, there is no shortage of things to do over here.
Making the best out of my current location has led to my re-discovery of Cleveland. I learn something new about Cleveland every day and I am honestly excited to learn more, to see more and to do more. Young professionals in Cleveland have the wonderful opportunity to be in the center of growth and success. Cleveland is definitely the place to be and too many young professionals like me are just now learning this.
This whole journey started with my internship with the Cleveland Foundation – it sparked my interest in the city again. I have the opportunity to work for a community development corporation which puts a lot of information about the city and what’s going on at my fingertips. Currently my plate is pretty full as I am working on creating a program to get a local youth group involved in our phytoremediation sunflower garden. Phytoremediation is the use of green plants to remove pollutants from the environment or render them harmless. Not having much information about this topic prior to my time at Union Miles, I have definitely learned a lot. I also assist in the planning of the community expo (festival) which will take place on August 14th and our own Modesto Acosta (Cleveland Foundation intern placed at Near West Theatre) will be teaching people how to SALSA!
In the interest of time and space I will not share the other 5-7 projects I am working on. The point is that this internship has given me a chance to really fall back in love with Cleveland (and I mean this in the non-corniest way possible).
Furthermore, the most important thing I have learned is: “busy” is not the correct word to describe the day in the life of someone who works for a CDC. It’s a lot of hard, tedious work that someone has to do. And even though most of the residents don’t see what goes on behind the scenes I sure I can speak for the rest of my staff when I say seeing the fruits of our labor makes it all worth it. CDC employees are the people who are making Cleveland such an amazing place, one neighborhood at a time!
Each week we will use this space to give each of our interns a chance to reflect on their internship experiences. India Pierce, a graduate of Ohio University, is placed at Union Miles Development.