Meet the 2019-2020 Cleveland Foundation Public Service Fellows

Launched in 2016, the Cleveland Foundation Public Service Fellowship immerses talented, emerging leaders from across the country in the work of Cleveland’s public sector, providing them an opportunity to develop their skills, enhance their networks, and jumpstart a career in public service. The fellowship program aims to attract and retain emerging talent in Cleveland and to foster a commitment to public service among the next generation of leaders. We’re excited to introduce the members of the 2019-2020 Cleveland Foundation Public Service Fellowship cohort, who will begin their placements in Cleveland in September: 

Lauretta Amanor, Invest in Children

Amanor was born in Accra, Ghana but grew up on the east side of Cleveland. She attended Ursuline College, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations and Social Media Communications. As a student, she was involved in a number of student programs and spent her weekends volunteering at the Norma Herr Women’s Shelter on Payne Avenue. At Invest in Children, Lauretta will work on program planning, contracting, monitoring and evaluation related to various initiatives including Step Up to Quality – Universal Pre-K.

Janella Blanchard, City of Cleveland, Dept. of Community Development

Blanchard, a Cleveland native, is a recent graduate of Cleveland State University, earning her Master’s in Nonprofit Administration and Leadership. In 2017, Janella earned her Bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies from Bowling Green State University. For the past two years, Janella has served as a College Guide with College Now Greater Cleveland through AmeriCorps where she has helped Cleveland’s youth plan for post-secondary education. As a fellow, Janella will act as project manager for the Lead Safe Cleveland Coalition.

William Botchway, Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA)

Botchway is a 2019 graduate of Davidson College in Sociology and Africana Studies with a focus on urban sociology. As a fellow, William will help develop and implement CMHA’s Housing Mobility Program, which will allow low-income participants to gain access to increased educational and employment opportunities in well-resourced communities in the Cleveland area. In addition, William will analyze CMHA’s accessibility to families, identify neighborhood trends for action planning, and assist with the organization’s community outreach efforts to residents and government. William is a native of Queens, NY.

Analese Chandler-Nieves, Cleveland Foundation

Chandler-Nieves is a 2019 graduate of Baldwin Wallace University in Sociology with minors in Psychology and Criminal Justice. As a fellow, she will develop and execute a Creative Fusion international artist residency cohort, research and coordinate the foundation’s lobby art and exhibition program, and assist with grantmaking. Analese grew up in Cleveland, Ohio.

Garret Forst, Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA)

Forst is a 2019 graduate of Trinity College in Hartford, CT. While at Trinity, he completed dual majors in Urban Studies and History and was active in the college’s efforts to engage with the Hartford community. As a Fellow, he will work in the Modernization and Development department at CMHA where he will assist with long-term planning by carrying out data analysis and mapping as well as providing administrative support. Garret is a Cleveland resident and native of the West Park neighborhood.

Marsalis Hammons, Cleveland Metropolitan School District

Hammons, a native of Elyria, OH, is a 2018 graduate of Cleveland State University. Double majoring in Human Resources and Marketing with a minor in Black Studies, he plans to support equity and inclusion within the district. As a fellow, Marsalis will work alongside the CMSD Talent Acquisition team to help develop and implement recruitment strategies, enhance interview processes, and increase the quality of hires for CMSD. 

Emma Kopp, City of Cleveland, Dept. of Aging

Kopp is a 2018 graduate of Denison University majoring in Anthropology/Sociology and Religion. Previous relevant work experience includes an internship at Linking Employment, Abilities, and Potential (LEAP) and employment at the Cleveland Restoration Society. At the Department of Aging, Emma will be focused on implementing the Age Friendly Cleveland Plan in an effort to enhance the quality of life for seniors and adults with disabilities and to increase the livability of Cleveland neighborhoods. A Cleveland native, she is excited to effect meaningful change in her community as a fellow.

Samira Malone, MidTown Cleveland, Inc. (MTC)

Malone is a Cleveland Native and a 2017 graduate of Cleveland State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Urban and Region Planning. She is now pursuing a Master’s of Urban Planning and Development with a certification in GIS and she anticipates graduating in Spring 2020. At MidTown Cleveland, Inc., Samira will work on key projects including collaborative resident-based arts programming, the planning processes for an Innovation District and MTC master plan, the development of a community benefits framework for real estate projects, and other placemaking projects.

Sara Ramasastry, City of Cleveland, Dept. of Aging

Ramasastry is a 2017 graduate of Smith College with a B.A. degree in History and American Studies. She currently works for Linking Employment, Abilities and Potential (LEAP), a Cleveland nonprofit agency that serves people with disabilities. As a fellow, Sara’s projects will focus on the Age Friendly Cleveland Plan, an initiative to increase the quality of life for older adults in Cleveland. Sara is originally from Illinois, but is a proud Cleveland resident.

Scott Sears, Say Yes to Education Cleveland

Sears was born and raised in Dayton, Ohio and is a 2017 graduate of The College of Wooster in Political Science and French Studies.  Since graduating, Scott has served two years with Teach For America, teaching 6th grade English and Social Studies in Wallace, North Carolina. As a fellow, Scott will work with various community partners to coordinate the rollout of Say Yes to Education Cleveland’s core student support services, including family support specialists, mental health and legal services, and after school and summer programming.  He will also monitor Cuyahoga Community College’s Say Yes Scholars Program and the Say Yes Scholarship Board.  

Natalie Zielger, Cuyahoga County Public Library (CCPL)

Ziegler, originally from Northeast Ohio, is a 2018 graduate of the University of Rochester with degrees in Anthropology and Comparative Literature. She has spent the last year serving in Rochester, New York as an AmeriCorps VISTA member working on program development to support refugee students in the Office of Adult and Career Education Services within the Rochester City School District. In Cleveland, she will work within the CCPL System to build out data analysis, support community engagement, and assist with strategic planning processes.

Stay tuned for updates as these fellows begin their work! Follow #CLEPublicService on social media for the latest, and subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter for updates on the fellows and the fellowship program.