Our #SummerOfPurpose blog series follows this year’s Cleveland Foundation Summer Interns as they spend 11 weeks working with Cleveland-area nonprofit and public sector organizations. In today’s blog we hear from Juliana Kosik, who spent her summer working with Leadership Geauga where she focused on projects related to alumni engagement, coordination of a ‘Leaders on Board’ event, and facilitation of a summer retreat.
College: Cleveland State University
Hometown: Pierpont, OH
Internship Host Site: Leadership Geauga
Why did you initially decide to participate in the Cleveland Foundation Summer Internship Program?
When I was young, I thought of Pierpont, OH as my home, but throughout my life I have lived or worked in Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga and Lake counties— and now I realize that Northeast Ohio is my home. I am passionate about the advancement of our community and I knew that the Cleveland Foundation Summer Internship program would be a platform to learn more about, and give back to, our community.
What has been the most valuable aspect of your internship experience?
The most valuable aspect of the internship experience has been meeting so many community leaders, innovators and business owners who are all working diligently to support the Greater Cleveland community. Being in the presence of individuals who are eager to create positive change is inspiring.
When you’re not working, what do you enjoy doing around Cleveland?
I thoroughly enjoy rowing on the Cuyahoga River. I have rowed with the Cleveland Rowing Foundation for a few years now. Rowing is a great full-body exercise and it is a beautiful juxtaposition in the sense that you are on a river in an industrial area.
How has this internship helped you grow professionally?
The Cleveland Foundation has broadened my outlook on my professional career. Instead of putting myself in a narrow box of solely working in the nonprofit sector, I have learned that you can advance your community in the private, public and nonprofits sectors. Each sector has a role to play in community development.
How has your internship helped you grow personally?
It has allowed me to be open to feedback. I think many times we have this perception that we must be perfect or if someone gives you advice, then you must have “messed up,” but feedback is a tool that can be used by all individuals. Feedback allows all of us to have a voice and a perspective. It is so freeing to welcome feedback as positive and collaborative experience.
What’s your favorite public space in Cleveland?
Public Square is my favorite space in Cleveland because I witnessed the transformation of the space. When I first saw Public Square, I thought it was great, but there was not an area to eat your lunch, listen to music, or for children to play – but now there are family-friendly events taking place in Public Square each day.
What advice would you give someone considering applying for the Cleveland Foundation Summer Internship program?
My advice to someone who is considering applying for the Cleveland Foundation Summer Internship program is to be uniquely you. I know that may sound somewhat cliché or vague, but I truly believe that each person in a community has an individual set of talents, and if you are willing to be yourself and use your own talents, incredible strides can be made throughout this internship program and in your own community. Self-awareness and the recognition of the talents of others is crucial to future success of a community.