Summer of Purpose: Meet the 2022 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:

Kerrigan Ponsart is a political science and international studies double major at Baldwin Wallace University. This summer, Kerrigan is excited to be working with the May Dugan Center, specifically with their food distribution program.

Elizabeth Keller is a rising senior at Case Western Reserve University, originally from Aurora, Ohio, studying political science and economics. Her law school aspirations are part of the reason why she’s excited to get nonprofit work experience. She will be working with the Literacy Cooperative this summer to help the development team with outreach and fundraising initiatives.

Maria Ferrato, a Kent State University alumna who will be returning to school to earn her master’s degree in rhetoric from Carnegie Mellon University in the fall, is placed with the Cleveland Kids’ Book Bank. She will be working with various community partners to plan and orchestrate local events to distribute books to Cleveland youth.

Macin Sheeder is a recent graduate of Case Western Reserve University, where she studied cognitive science, English, and film. This spring, she interned with City Year Cleveland through the Baker-Nord Center’s Humanities@Work program and is excited to continue working in local education this summer by supporting a 20th-anniversary celebration event for Arts Impact — an organization focused on providing arts-based learning opportunities to Cleveland schools.

Joy Mason is from Mentor, Ohio, and graduated this year from Case Western Reserve University with a Bachelor of Science in business management. In the fall, Joy will pursue a Master of Health Administration at The Ohio State University while working as a graduate administrative assistant at The OSU Wexner Medical Center. In the past, Joy has served as an intern at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center and the Cleveland Clinic. This summer, Joy will be partnered with Starting Point to work with their leadership on organizational development, policy creation and strategic planning.

Ale Andrzejewski is currently an AmeriCorps member serving with City Year Cleveland where he is continuing one of his many passions of empowering youth as a near-peer-mentor. He is a recent graduate of Hiram College, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in political science, and he is planning to attend Cleveland State University in the fall to pursue a master’s in urban planning and development. Ale is placed with West Park Kamm’s Neighborhood Development and will be working to identify ideal locations for a public art installation, assisting in the development and execution of a “5 Points” pop-up placemaking pilot, and establishing a vision framework for future Rocky River Drive commercial corridor investment.

Emily Reyes is a rising junior at Baldwin Wallace University, majoring in international studies with a minor in Spanish for the professions. She will be interning with the Young Latino Network where she will be working alongside staff to encourage civic engagement and leadership development among Hispanic communities in the Greater Cleveland area.

Sam Yusko is a junior at the University of Toledo, majoring in English with a focus in creative writing. He is placed with the Geauga County Public Library, where he will assist with their community outreach efforts and help organize events such as book sales.

Cielle Brady is a rising senior at Case Western Reserve University majoring in philosophy and sociology with a public health minor. As an intern at East End Neighborhood House, she will work collaboratively with a supervisor and team to expand their Marjorie Hall-Ellis Institute. By creating leadership and personal development programs for African American young adults, she will help uphold the organization’s commitment to providing social services for families and community members across a variety of ages.

Jaya Patten is a third-year student at Case Western Reserve University majoring in political science and women and gender studies, with minors in economics, French, and mathematics. Jaya will be interning with Equality Ohio to assist with education and advocacy initiatives, organize data around Cleveland Pride events, and plan volunteer and outreach programs supporting LGBTQ+ rights and issues.

Hailey Joy Ridenour is a rising senior at Miami University majoring in public administration. She will be interning with the Pregnant with Possibilities Resource Center, where she will be assisting with program analytics and evaluation documentation over the course of the internship. She’ll also be working directly with the community health coordinator to aid pregnant and parenting clients.

Kayla Johnson is a junior at The Ohio State University majoring in city and regional planning and minoring in real estate. She was placed with Fairfax Renaissance Development Corporation where she will be working on furthering housing and economic development for their neighborhood. The projects align with her passion for the planning field and improving the equity and quality of life for residents.

Kenneth Pope is a rising senior majoring in public health at Miami University. He is very excited to be interning with HELP this summer. Kenneth will be working with the chief asset officer to coordinate and track facility maintenance as well as assist with IT infrastructure expansion projects.

Cameron Tong is a rising senior at Case Western Reserve University majoring in political science and economics with potential minors in public policy, history, and ethics. Cameron will be interning with Cleveland Neighborhood Progress (CNP), working with local neighborhoods to foster economic development and revitalization. He will work closely with CNP staff as well as small business leaders to implement new pilot programs and improve commercial properties.

Magda Ellis, a rising senior at Boston University majoring in anthropology and minoring in computer science, is placed with DigitalC. She will be working as a Digital Navigator assisting with adoption, digital literacy training, surveys, devices and technical support.

Marcela Becerra is a rising senior at Columbia University majoring in political science and English as a pre-law student. She is excited to be interning with HOLA Ohio helping to expand and establish programs, services and initiatives to support and empower the Latino community.

Diane Frangulea is a rising junior at the College of William & Mary as well as the University of St. Andrews majoring in international relations. She will be interning with LEAP (Linking Employment, Abilities & Potential), providing valuable work experience for youth with disabilities through the Summer Youth Work Experience Program. She will be engaging with individuals in the local community and advocating for the needs of persons with disabilities.

Maddie Schwartz, a junior at Baldwin Wallace University majoring in arts management & entrepreneurship, is placed at FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art. Maddie will be working with the project manager and director of exhibitions to facilitate projects and events throughout the city, provide marketing and social media support, and support artists and educators in program delivery for the triennial.

Elizabeth Marino is a recent graduate of Mercyhurst University, earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology and criminal justice with a concentration in juvenile justice. Elizabeth is honored to be working with the City of Maple Heights this summer, running the new exterior maintenance grant program under the direct supervision of the housing manager. She will serve as the main contact point for all residents, contractors, and city employees to ensure program compliance and efficiency.

Audrey Ray is a rising junior at the University of Alabama, majoring in environmental science and minoring in liberal arts through the Blount Scholars Program. She is thrilled to be working with FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art, a free public art exhibition comprised of artist commissions, performances, films, and public programs that takes place across Cleveland, Akron and Oberlin every three years.

Laurie Celia Ngompe Mbiegue, a rising junior at Case Western Reserve University majoring in political science and international studies, is placed at Organic Connects Inc. As an intern, Celia will continue the Union-Miles Place Attachment Project by modifying the survey based on feedback and supporting summer programming at Milkovich Middle School in Maple Heights.

Tully Worron, a rising junior at Temple University majoring in marketing and minoring in art history and Spanish, is placed with FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art. She will be working directly with FRONT to assist in planning and implementing the 2022 Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art which will present “Oh, Gods of Dust and Rainbows” at 11 different galleries and studios around the Greater Cleveland area.

Josie K. Vano is a senior in the Bachelor of Integrative Studies program at Kent State University, studying psychology, theater, and American Sign Language, with a minor in disability studies and community inclusion. This summer, Josie will be working with the Jarvis Gibson Foundation — which strives to create educational opportunities for underserved youth — to plan fundraising events, assist with grant writing, and develop a marketing and communications plan for the foundation’s signature program: Beyond the Field.

Joey Leppo is a rising senior studying interior architecture at the Cleveland Institute of Art. He will be interning with the Cleveland Foundation, helping track and organize project elements along with assisting in the experimental brand design and installation process for the foundation’s new headquarters building. 

2022 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!

Adelaide (Addie) Delmonico will be working at The Music Settlement.

Malavika Khaitan will be working with Legal Aid Society of Cleveland.