How I Spent My Summer: Eric Vega

Eric Vega

Eric Vega

I can vividly remember just like it was yesterday when Ciba Jones from the Cleveland Foundation called me and said, ” Jeff of Ohio City wants to offer you the position. Do you accept?”

I jumped up and down in excitement and said, “Oh my God, yes…of course!” I could not believe it. I knew the competition for the Cleveland Foundation summer internship program was intense and to hear that I got it was such a grand accomplishment that I still to this day cannot get over.

Ohio City Incorporated is a community development corporation whose mission is to develop, preserve, and promote a diverse, historic, urban community as a desirable place to live, work, study and play. As an intern at Ohio City Inc., I am responsible for facilitating the Ohio City Dialogue Initiative, which is an effort to improve the relationships between the nonprofits and the residents of the Ohio City neighborhood. Through the process, I have learned a lot about the 90 nonprofits in Ohio City, the good and the bad. However, the most important lesson I learned is the importance of collaborating. My goal at the end of the summer is to increase the number of nonprofits involved in the dialogue in hopes to maximize efficiency through collaboration, and to create an avenue that will provide understanding and acceptance of this sector both internally and externally.

I really enjoy working with the dialogue and overall I must say that I enjoy working for such a beautiful and vibrant neighborhood. Driving into Ohio City for work every day and seeing all the beautiful architecture and new local shops gives me a sense of reassurance that Cleveland is reaching new heights. I would love to see more neighborhoods like Ohio City in the city of Cleveland.

Interning for a community development corporation has greatly expanded my knowledge on what it takes to revitalize a neighborhood. I have come to the consensus that it takes a lot but it is all feasible. At the end of the summer, I can proudly say I made a difference in Cleveland because I worked for a prominent CDC like Ohio City Inc.

Each week we use this space to give each of our interns a chance to reflect on their internship experiences. Eric is a recent graduate at Cleveland State University. Host Site: Ohio City Incorporated