Summer of Purpose: Meet the 2020 Cleveland Foundation Summer Interns & Porter Cleveland Fellows

a collage of images of the 2020 summer interns

Since 1999, the Cleveland Foundation Summer Internship Program has provided undergraduates, graduate students and recent graduates a “summer of purpose” – 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:

Jha’Tier Robinson, a junior at Cleveland State University majoring in education, is placed at the Center for Arts-Inspired Learning. Jha’Tier provides administrative support for CAL’s educational programs by planning the logistics and final reporting for their summer camps, assisting in the coordination of the ArtWorks teen apprenticeship program, planning project budgets and compiling data.

Lauren Lanham, a senior at University of Dayton majoring in pre-medicine, is placed at the City of South Euclid. Lauren works alongside the community development coordinator to oversee management of the city’s long-standing community gardens program, help increase fresh food access to residents, develop educational programming to promote sustainable lifestyles, and empower local refugees.

Shneur Kushner, a recent graduate of Cleveland State University now pursuing a Master’s of Urban Planning and Development, is placed at the Union Miles Development Corporation. Shneur assists with marketing and community outreach efforts through the enhancement of social media channels, development and execution of promotional campaigns, community engagement, and the creation of marketing materials.

Erica Henrichsen, a junior at Cleveland State University majoring in environmental studies, is placed at the Western Reserve Land Conservancy. Erica supports the work of the Reforest Our City Program by creating informational displays for installation at neighborhood institutions, developing a planting manual for volunteers, creating community outreach materials, and conducting a GIS survey of Land Conservancy planting sites.

Arianna Killing, a junior at Cleveland State University majoring in nonprofit administration, environmental studies, and urban studies, is placed at the Cleveland Water Alliance. Arianna provides support for the launch of the Great Lakes One Water Smart Citizen Science project by empowering citizen scientists through the development of the core platforms, logistics, and infrastructure for seven communities around Lake Erie.

Nahomy Ortiz-Garcia, a recent graduate from Cleveland State University majoring in communications with a minor in management, is placed at the Julia de Burgos Cultural Arts Center (JDB). Nahomy will assist JDB with its ongoing Reimagination process to deepen its impact in the Latinx community and serve as a better resource for local Latinx artists by conducting research, data collection, and forming strategies to inform the direction of future programming and services.

Ann Mastandrea, a senior at Cleveland State University majoring in sociology and gender studies, is placed at Maximum Accessible Housing of Ohio. Ann will work with MAHO’s Anderson Center staff and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Cleveland leadership to finalize and execute the plans for the 30th anniversary of the ADA.

Jordan Berkovitz, a senior at The Ohio State University majoring in communications, is placed at Engage! Cleveland. Jordan plays a central role in the marketing, planning and execution of Cleveland Young Professionals Week.

Diamond Green-Phillips, a junior at Baldwin Wallace University majoring in sociology, is placed at Joseph’s Home. Diamond works with the Development Director to enhance community awareness, fundraising strategy, and volunteer engagement in preparation for the organization’s 20th anniversary Perseverance in Hope benefit luncheon.

Shaela Hayes, a junior at the University of Cincinnati majoring in philosophy, is placed at Towards Employment, Inc. (TE). Shaela works with TE’s executive director and senior manager of policy and strategic initiatives to support the organization’s advocacy agenda in two areas: career pathways for low-income individuals and criminal justice reentry issues.

Rachel Zvara-Barrington, a senior at Cleveland State University majoring in comparative religion with a minor in general business, is placed at the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center. Rachel assists the manager of the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative project in creating and compiling essential data associated with sexual assault cases from the City of Cleveland’s initial reports dating to 1993 and prior.

Jenna Thomas, a senior at Cleveland State University majoring in nonprofit administration with a minor in Spanish, is placed at the Greater Cleveland Food Bank. Jenna works closely with partner agencies to expand the capacity of the food bank’s Retail Donation Program through running reports, conducting research, and coordinating meetings between agencies and donors. She will also assess agency capacity to engage in food policy and advocacy efforts.  

Yidiayah Box, a junior at Hiram College majoring in creative writing and film studies, is placed at the Cleveland Playhouse. Yidiayah works closely with the director of marketing on key projects related to expanding CPH’s reach in the community by planning events, identifying and engaging with community partners, and developing content for their newly established newsletter and podcast.

Tameyah Scott, a sophomore at Case Western Reserve University majoring in psychology on the pre-medicine track, is placed at Urban Squash Cleveland. Tameyah works alongside the senior management team for the planning and execution of the organization’s summer camp and events, innovation of academic enrichment curriculum, and the entry and analysis of data.

Madelyn Dill, a junior at Mercyhurst University majoring in socio-cultural anthropology, is placed at Chardon Tomorrow. Madelyn is responsible for developing, designing and maintaining the community property inventory database. She also coordinates a variety of special events with Geauga County representatives, business and property owners, community stakeholders and board members.

Rachael Chapman, a senior at Bowling Green State University majoring in education, is placed at the Lake County Port and Economic Development Authority. Rachael assists the airport manager in the planning and preparation of the Lake County Executive Airport’s airshow. She helps secure sponsors, coordinate volunteers, develop marketing materials and manage online ticket sales.

Josh Pugh, a sophomore at The Ohio State University majoring in middle childhood education with a minor in nonprofit management, is placed at Geauga Growth Partnership. Josh supports the data integration and procedural transition plan to a new customer relationship management system to expand the reach of GGP in the community. Additionally, he works to develop an alumni network for GGP’s high school internship program to engage more than 10 years of alumni in the first annual GGP intern alumni event.

Taijia Elder, a recent graduate at Bowling Green State University majoring in gerontology, is placed at East End Neighborhood House. Taijia works alongside the CEO to provide organizing, marketing, and planning support for the implementation of East End’s strategic plan, its Annual Ubuntu Celebration, and radio show programming.

2020 Porter Cleveland Fellows

The Porter Cleveland Fellows Program began in 2005 in honor of Nancy Lyon Porter, a 1943 graduate of Wheaton College in Massachusetts. Through a generous gift from the Porter family through the Cleveland Foundation, the Porter Cleveland Fellows 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! Micheala (Mae) Flibotte and Thomas Erickson are both interning with Legal Aid Society of Cleveland.