Summer of Purpose: Meet the 2019 Cleveland Foundation Summer Interns

Group photo of the 2019 interns

We call it a “Summer of Purpose.” Since 1999, the Cleveland Foundation Summer Internship Program has provided undergraduates, graduate students and recent graduates an opportunity to work in Cleveland-area nonprofit organizations and governmental agencies during an 11-week paid internship. The program aligns with the foundation’s commitment to supporting Greater Cleveland’s nonprofit and public sectors, and fostering the next generation of community leaders. Learn what this year’s interns are doing during their Summer of Purpose:

Agnes Bisselle, a senior at Hobart and William Smith Colleges majoring in Media and Society, is placed at New Directions. Agnes will maintain New Directions’ social media presence across platforms, and will support marketing and communications strategy, content development, data and story collection, as well as prospect research.

Maria Cristina Burris Proano, a junior at Cleveland State University majoring in Early Childhood Education, is placed at MAGNET. Maria will support the scaling of the Early College, Early Career (ECEC) program throughout Cleveland and Northeast Ohio. Maria will also develop and create an employer guide, school guide, revised ECEC website, and marketing materials.

Brittany Chapman, a senior at Bowling Green State University majoring in Psychology, is placed at Leadership Lake County. Brittany will research and engage junior program alumni from the first 23 years of the program. Brittany will connect junior alumni to signature alumni events via personal meetings, digital communications and social media. Brittany will also plan and prepare for the annual meeting of the board and CEO.

Tameka Coleman, a senior at Baldwin Wallace majoring in Public Health, is placed at The Ohio State University Extension. Tameka will provide support to OSUE programs that focus on food security, healthy food access and urban agriculture through data collection, data management and promotion.

Naomi Gaston, a senior at Miami University of Ohio majoring in Social Work and Black World Studies, is placed at Lake Erie Ink. Naomi will design, implement and evaluate teen programming for both new and ongoing programs.

Calvin Gibson, a senior at Case Western Reserve University majoring in Sociology, is placed at FutureHeights. Calvin will facilitate and implement short-term projects in placemaking, public art, economic development and community outreach.

Samantha Greenfield, a senior at Baldwin Wallace University majoring in Arts Management and Entrepreneurship, is placed at Cleveland Public Theatre. Samantha will work with the CFO and General Manager to prepare documents in alignment with the external auditor’s requests, gaining intimate experience with standard accounting procedures and how non-profit organizations maintain financial records that comply with an annual audit.

Jason Guo, a junior at Case Western Reserve University majoring in Economics and International Studies, is placed at the Nonprofit and Public Service Center at Lakeland Community College. Jason will update, edit and fine-tune databases and create a social media communications plan for the center. Jason will also connect with the HIVE, an on-campus makerspace, and conduct design thinking research

Eva Holtkamp, a senior at Ohio University majoring in Journalism and Political Science, is placed at Montefiore Foundation. Eva will lead social media and promotional efforts for the Shining Star CLE event, and will serve as a school outreach liaison.

Meg Hopkins, a junior at The Ohio State University majoring in Public Management, Leadership and Policy, is placed at the City of Broadview Heights. Meg will organize and streamline event planning, particularly within the new Community Amphitheater that is opening in 2019; this includes creating a centralized community calendar, compiling details of each event, and developing a marketing and outreach plan. 

Diona James, a senior at Case Western Reserve University majoring in Medical Anthropology, Pre-Law and International Studies, is placed at United Way Services of Geauga County. Diona will assist with building a planned giving program for donors and the community, analyzing current donor lists and developing a target list. She will help coordinate volunteers and supplies in partnership with Geauga County Public Library and United Way’s Women United.

Audra Mahon, a senior at Baldwin Wallace University majoring in Creative Writing, is placed at Eliza Bryant Village. Audra will plan for the launch of the Elder Justice Center, helping to create white papers, messaging, collateral materials and PR/event coverage.

Hakmat Manaa, a junior at Cleveland State University majoring in Political Science, is placed at The May Dugan Center. Hakmat will plan, implement and coordinate the 50th anniversary cook-out for MDC clients. Hakmat will also design and distribute newsletters, social media, and giving collateral as well as provide programmatic support.

Julia Mayer, a junior at The Ohio State University Honors College majoring in English, is placed at Upside of Downs of Northeast Ohio. Julia will analyze the DonorPerfect database to help create, improve and implement strategies of engagement with a variety of constituents (families, self-advocates, volunteers, donors and other supports). Julia will also assist with special events and attend programming presented to families.

Arielis Rodriguez, a junior at Kent State University majoring in Human Development and Family Studies, is placed at Shoes and Clothes for kids. Arielis will help manage volunteers and paid temporary staff as they receive, sort, stock and pack clothing. Arielis will also administer and help to implement a new online ordering system with 28 partners.

Lindsey Schneider, a senior at George Washington University majoring in Geography, is placed at Cuyahoga Soil & Water Conservation District. Lindsey will assist in developing a “Greenprint for Public Involvement in Soil & Water Conservation,” and will analyze school, conservation easement, and public property features in Map Viewer for Cuyahoga County.

Daijha Thompson, a junior at Syracuse University majoring in Public Relations and Political Philosophy, is placed at Cleveland Museum of Art. Daijha will assist with social media and engagement of millennial audiences, as well as researching, developing and implementing new program formats. She will also assist with public programs, marketing and the campaign for CMA’s Museum of the Future.

AmakhutMaati Tyehimba, a junior at Virginia Commonwealth University majoring in Regional Planning, is placed at Manufacturing Works. AmakhutMaati will assist with marketing initiatives, program outreach, event planning, data entry, fundraising, volunteer recruitment and training, and other general nonprofit operations. This includes all aspects of three big summer events: MFG Summer Camp, the Membership Appreciation Picnic, and a golf outing.

Lauren Vitas, a senior at Cleveland State University majoring in Spanish and English, is placed at PRE4CLE. Lauren will help plan events and support social media content for the 5th annual report release, while assisting with recruitment efforts and supporting communication and advocacy efforts.

Brendan Zak, a senior at Cleveland State University majoring in Urban Studies, is placed at the City of Brooklyn. Brendan will collect data and information, and review and report all aspects of the 2019 Exterior Maintenance Grant Program.

In addition, four Porter Cleveland Fellows from Wheaton College have been placed at internship host sites for the summer. The Porter Cleveland Fellows Program began in 2005 in honor of Nancy Lyon Porter, a 1943 graduate of Wheaton College in Massachusetts. The program provides opportunities for students of Wheaton College to intern with community-based organizations in Cleveland.  We are excited to invite this year’s Porter Fellows to participate in the Cleveland Foundation Summer Internship Program:

Zainab Ayinde is interning with Circle Health Services

Jaylene Coss is interning with Legal Aid Society of Cleveland

Maggie Lawler is interning with Reaching Heights

Meshal Muzaffar is interning with Legal Aid Society of Cleveland

Stay tuned! We’ll be sharing guest blogs from each of the interns throughout the summer. Follow #SummerOfPurpose on social media for updates!