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 Diamond Green-Phillips, who is working with Joseph’s Home, where she is assisting with grant writing, social media and event planning.
Name: Diamond Green-Phillips
College: Dual Degree Student at Baldwin Wallace University and Case Western Reserve University
Hometown: Cleveland, OH
Internship Host Site: Joseph’s Home
Why did you initially decide to participate in this internship program?
I initially wanted to participate in the internship program because I wanted to get more experience working with different nonprofits in Cleveland. I also wanted to develop more connections with people in the nonprofit realm. I knew I would be able to get to know other young professionals in Cleveland and professionals who have been doing this work for years.
What has been the most valuable aspect of your internship experience?
The most valuable aspect of my internship has been seeing various aspects of a nonprofit. I love having connections with the residents at Joseph’s Home and developing relationships with the community we are working alongside. My supervisor has allowed me to shadow staff members at the shelter and spend time with the residents while I am there. I have been able to get to know a few residents and an alumnus of Joseph’s Home on a deeper level. I have also had the pleasure of working on a few grants, managing a social media account, and some event planning.
What has been the most challenging aspect of your internship experience?
The most challenging aspect of my internship has been working remotely. When I first applied for the Cleveland Foundation Summer Internship Program, I thought I would spend time with my cohort weekly in person. But due to COVID-19, we had to switch to meeting online. It has been challenging to get to know the other interns via Zoom and GroupMe. But we are making the best out of the situation.
When you’re not working, what do you enjoy doing around Cleveland?
When I am not working, I enjoy spending time with my family. Typically, in the summer, we would go to Wade Oval Wednesdays when everyone gets off work. Now, due to COVID-19, we go over to my mom’s house and sit on her porch, which is an excellent way to end the day.
What are your career goals after college?
After I finish up at Baldwin Wallace University in May of 2021, I will have one year left at Case Western Reserve University before I have my master’s degree in social work. I then plan on having a full-time job in the field of social work.
How has this internship helped you grow professionally?
Having this internship has helped me grow professionally because I have been challenged in every aspect. During my second week, I was told I would be helping write a grant, and I knew nothing about grant writing. With the help of our grant writer, I was able to develop a skill that is much needed in the nonprofit sector. This is a skill I plan to use in the future, and I can thank a Cleveland Foundation Summer Internship Program alum for that.
How has this internship helped you grow personally?
This internship has helped me grow personally in ways I did not think were possible. Having this opportunity showed me that when it is your time, it will happen. No matter what is, when it is your chance to have it, that is when you will get it. I have learned self-confidence by having a supervisor who is a fantastic Baldwin Wallace alumnus. She taught me how to step out of my comfort zone and feel great about trying new things even when they do not work out the way you planned it.
What’s your favorite public space in Cleveland?
My favorite public space in Cleveland is Uptown near Case Western Reserve’s campus. It has a lot of different foods, museums and people.
Where would you take a friend who is visiting Cleveland for the first time?
To my favorite food place: Kim’s Wings. They have the BEST polish boys in Cleveland.
What advice would you give to someone considering applying for the Cleveland Foundation Summer Internship program?
When I first applied for the Cleveland Foundation Summer Internship I made it to the final round of interviews, but I did not get the internship that year. However, I knew I wanted to participate, so I applied again. So, if you are considering applying for the internship program, GO FOR IT! Do not let anything stop you from going after this fantastic opportunity. I am glad I tried again because I have learned so much through this internship program.