Summer of Purpose: Meet the 2021 Cleveland Foundation Summer Interns & Porter Cleveland Fellows

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:

Fatima Rahman is a recent graduate of Case Western Reserve University completing a bachelor’s in international studies and a master’s in nonprofit management. Fatima is placed with the Alliance for Climate Education (ACE) which seeks to educate young people on the science of climate change and empower them to take action. She will be focused on digital organizing and support the launch of ACE’s new decentralized organizing program.

Matthew Compan, a junior at The Ohio State University majoring in economics and international studies, is placed with the City of Euclid’s Planning and Development Department. Matt will be assisting with the implementation of various projects, including building a database of businesses, researching economic development tools for small businesses and the establishment of a Special Improvement District (SID) downtown.

Megan Mullaly, a rising junior at Cleveland State University majoring in graphic design and minoring in art history, communications and marketing, is interning with Cleveland Documenters. Megan will be working alongside staff and Cleveland residents to produce stories and content based on their documentation.

Hannah Taylor, a rising junior at Ohio Wesleyan University majoring in English literature and pre-law, is placed at Cleveland Sight Center. She will be coordinating, facilitating and evaluating both virtual and in-person recreation activities for the agency’s adult and youth clients.

Nicole Coury is a first-year graduate student in Case Western Reserve University’s Master of Social Work program. She is excited to be working with the Collaborative to End Human Trafficking, where she will help the organization diversify their sources of funding, research and design a Corporate Sponsorship Program, and take part in trainings and professional development. 

Colin Hawkinson, a senior at Case Western Reserve University majoring in classical studies, is placed with College Now Greater Cleveland. Colin will work with the Advising and Programs staff at College Now to further their mission of increasing postsecondary educational attainment throughout the Greater Cleveland area by conducting research into the current post-secondary enrollment requirements and offerings and supporting a pilot Gap Year Initiative.

Zoe Bale, a recent graduate of Case Western Reserve University now pursuing a master’s in accountancy, is placed with Community Partnership on Aging (CPA). Zoe will assist with a new initiative, CPAConnects2U, serving as a coach and trainer to a cohort of older adults interested in learning how to access technology to increase socialization and reduce isolation.

Ingrid Gillies, a junior at Case Western Reserve University majoring in economics and political science, is placed with Deepwood Foundation. Ingrid will assist the organization with researching best practices for an annual pledge campaign, developing models for specialized funds, enhancing marketing and community awareness, and assisting with Gala preparation.

Samantha Montanez is a first-year graduate student at Ohio University working toward a Master of Arts in Law, Justice & Culture in May 2022. Samantha is interning with Equality Ohio, working alongside the Northeast Ohio Regional Organizer and Statewide Civic Engagement Director to educate about policy impacting the LGBTQ+ community.

Anna Cormier is a rising junior at Case Western Reserve University studying international studies, theater, and childhood studies. This summer she is interning with Fairmount Center for the Arts, an organization that enriches lives through the arts with classes and private instruction in dance, music, theatre, visual arts and fitness. Anna will be helping to plan the 45th Annual Juried Art Exhibition, which will feature art from artists around Cleveland and be a core centerpiece event of the organization’s 50th anniversary celebrations.

Sebastian Canales, a recent graduate of Cuyahoga Community College majoring in political justice, is eager to intern with Greater Cleveland Neighborhood Centers Association. Sebastian will work with directors of the P4SS and IConnect programs to expand and strengthen digital tech education systems, engaging with youth to help bridge the digital divide. Sebastian champions the right to vote and aspires to give back to his community in Cleveland. 

Yoshmar Pinal-Alfaro, a senior at Case Western Reserve University majoring in political science, is interning with HFLA of Northeast Ohio. Throughout the summer, Yoshmar will assist with the programmatic aspects of processing interest-free loans and work with the development team on event and fundraising activities.

Eric Grimm is a rising senior at the University of Dayton majoring in political science and communications and also working towards a graduate certificate in nonprofit and community leadership. Placed with Holden Forests & Gardens, Eric will work in close collaboration with members of the development team to establish and direct the People for Trees campaign to help restore the tree canopy in Northeast Ohio and mitigate the negative impacts of climate change and other factors on the health of our urban and rural forests.

Destiny Smith, a political science major and recent graduate of Hiram College, is interning with Little Lumpy’s Center for Educational Initiatives. Destiny will work closely with the director to support the organization’s efforts to increase literacy through educational initiatives and professional development opportunities including the Annual Great Lakes African American Writers Conference, the Literacy Readiness Program, and an Animation Workforce Program.

Morgan Goodwin is a rising senior at North Carolina Central University, studying business administration with a concentration in management. Morgan is interning with PCs for People, working to reduce the digital divide through a multifaceted social enterprise model with widespread community impact. This includes a new Wireless Internet Service Provider (WISP) initiative launched to offer broadband connectivity at an extremely low price.

Hannah Xu, a senior at Case Western Reserve University majoring in psychology, is placed at Social Venture Partners (SVP) Cleveland. Hannah will support nonprofit engagement efforts as SVP works with organizations to build their capacities and further their missions. Additionally, Hannah will support partnerships with BIPOC-led nonprofits and those serving Black and Brown communities.

Milo Schumann, a soon-to-be graduate of Kent State University majoring in ceramics and minoring in art history, is placed at SPACES. Milo will assist with the production, development, and public presentation of a new artistic commission, Artist-in-Residence Nastassja Swift’s (Virginia Beach, VA) To and From the Elysian Plain (TFEP).

Ibukun Ode-Martins is a first-year graduate student pursuing master’s degrees in social work and nonprofit organization at the Mandel School at Case Western Reserve University, where she also recently graduated with a major in psychology and a minor in cultural anthropology. Ibukun is interning at Youth Opportunities Unlimited (Y.O.U.), where she will be interviewing and gathering feedback from stakeholders as well as working with the Y.O.U team to develop a strategic plan and objectives for the next year.

2021 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!

Erica Drufva and Sanjana Mitesh Kulkarni will both be interning with Legal Aid Society of Cleveland.

Elizabeth Eaton will be interning with Hunger Network.

Jessica Jane Love will be interning with Cleveland Clinic.

Amber Medero will be interning with US Together.