Summer of Purpose: Joshua Jenkins

Coming Full Circle

I am a firm believer in the timeless cliché that everything happens for a reason. This summer internship experience with The Cleveland Foundation has further reinforced that notion for myself and has the hamster wheels in my head spinning faster than ever before.

If you would have told me a year ago that I would be spending this summer interning with the Fairview Park Recreation Department AND gaining exposure to several local nonprofits, I would have dismissed the comment and not have thought twice about it. Throughout my last two semesters, I had a laser focus on applying and interviewing with the Quicken Loans and Wells Fargo’s of the world, wanting to gain experience related to my degree.

The nonprofit sector was never on my radar until I found out about The Cleveland Foundation’s Summer Internship Program. I knew very little about the nonprofit sector before applying but I soon realized the Foundation supports and is involved with many of the organizations and programs that I benefited from when I was younger living in the Slavic Village area. I was too young to really understand back then, but now I am seeing how amazing and important the nonprofit sector in Cleveland has been

With the Fairview Park Recreation Department, I am assisting in the planning and coordination of seasonal special events. Earlier this month I was able to see our annual Touch a Truck event in action and it was great to be a part of such a successful event (despite the threat of thunderstorms that day) for the kids in the community.

Cover PhotoI have also had a significant role in the planning of our 2nd annual Fairview Park Food Truck Festival that will be taking place on Saturday, August 1 from 4 – 9 p.m. at the Gemini Center. We are anticipating double the turnout of last year’s event. I will be thrilled to see it in action in a few short weeks! Additionally, I am working on auditing recreation/sport by-laws within the region along with membership, fitness and program fees to compile into a report with recommendations for future endeavors.

It’s funny how things work out sometimes. Everything always comes full circle. Going into my freshman year at Kent State, I was declared a Sport Administration major but quickly changed my mind to give myself more flexibility for the future. I now find myself interning within recreation and the nonprofit sector. Moving forward I will definitely be considering a career in the nonprofit sector and this experience certainly has helped me redefine my purpose. I am eager to play a bigger role in the revitalization taking place in our great city.

Joshua Jenkins

Joshua Jenkins, a junior at Kent State University, majoring in Finance, is placed at Fairview Park – Parks and Recreation Department. Joshua assists the Recreation Department with seasonal special events and marketing/sponsorship efforts associated with the events. He also assists with the department’s future planning by auditing recreation/sport by-laws within the region.