Summer of Purpose: Meet the 2023 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:

We are pleased to announce the 2023 cohort of Cleveland Foundation Summer Interns:

Ayosubomi Akande is a Case Western Reserve University junior double majoring in psychology and communication Sciences on the pre-law track with minors in African & African American studies, social justice, and cognitive science. She will be interning with Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio and working alongside the advocacy team to help defend and promote reproductive freedom in Ohio. She will assist in campaigns aiming to educate and engage Cleveland communities in combating disinformation and supporting abortion access.

Morgan Anderson is a rising junior at John Carroll majoring in sociology and criminology with minors in leadership development, professional writing and gender studies. She is excited to be interning at the Down Syndrome Association of Northeast Ohio, where she will assist in planning the Buddy Walk. 

Samia Azizuddin is a recent graduate from Cleveland State University, studying urban and regional studies and political science, with minors in French and women’s and gender studies. They are excited to intern this summer with Slavic Village Development, working to compile and prepare maps and data on vacant properties within the neighborhood as well as helping facilitate community engagement sessions about planning initiatives.

Nia Badley is a rising Junior at Case Western Reserve University majoring in economics and pre-architecture. She will be interning at Burton, Bell, Carr Development Inc., assisting with the Shaker Square Plaza and Kingsbury Run Projects. These projects align with her passion for increasing the quality of life for residents creating more joyful communities. 

Connor Brentar is a graduate student in the Master of Urban Planning and Development program at Cleveland State University. He will be an intern at Bike Cleveland this summer, where he will be able to work on one of his greatest interests, transportation equity. He will assist in planning a youth bike summit, along with providing additional assistance on other projects.

Vee Brown is a rising senior at Miami University. She is majoring in public administration with a concentration in writing for diverse contexts. Vee will be interning with ASM Materials Education Foundation where she will be assisting in providing STEM education for students and teachers in order to promote material science as a career for the next generation.

Raquel Cairns is a rising senior at Cleveland State University, she is a dance major and is pursing her arts management and community development certification. Born and raised in Cleveland, she is passionate about arts education access in public schools. This summer she is very excited to be placed with DANCECleveland and help in the preparation and presentation of Community Dance Day. 

Geneviéve Carreño is a senior music & theatre management major with a minor in voice at Baldwin Wallace University in Berea. This summer, Geneviéve will be interning with LatinUs Theater Company to revamp their website and advance their digital marketing strategy.

Megan Fleisher is a rising senior at the University of Pittsburgh majoring in marketing and supply chain management with a digital media certificate. This summer, she will be interning with Oh Sew Powerful Inc. where she will be helping to further develop their board and assist with updating their marketing communications, website, and logistics processes.

Bailey Hall is a rising senior at Baldwin Wallace University, majoring in sociology and neuroscience studies. She will be interning with Seeds of Literacy to help their staff research, analyze and develop new strategies for reaching a broader audience in helping adults achieve their basic education and literacy goals.

Kendal Harris is a rising third year Morril Scholar at The Ohio State University, dual majoring in public affairs and African American studies. They will be interning with the Cleveland Transformation Alliance and working on furthering their programing to support parents seeking the best education options for their children. 

Mohamed Manaa is a rising junior at The Ohio State University majoring in political science with minors in history and music. He will be interning with the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless, where he will be developing a self-guided historical tour of Cleveland centered around housing and homelessness issues. He will be utilizing a variety of platforms such as Geocaching and Wherigo with the main goal of furthering and supporting the mission of NEOCH.

Emma McDonald is a rising junior at The Ohio State University majoring in political science and Spanish (Hispanic linguistics concentration). Emma will be interning at Geauga Growth Partnership where she will be helping to coordinate and execute an 8-week youth workforce program.

Olivia McDowell is a rising senior at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia. She is majoring in comparative women’s studies with a minor in art history. As an intern at The LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland, she will participate in the planning and implementation of the LGBTQ march and festival entitled Pride in CLE. In addition, she will work collaboratively with center team members from various departments to curate a Pride in the CLE Intern Guidebook for future interns. Olivia looks forward to combining her passion for social justice, advocacy, and community engagement during this opportunity.

Colleen McLafferty is a rising senior at Ohio University, studying history. She particularly focuses on social and labor history in the 19th-century. She will be interning with the Famicos Foundation, where she will be helping to complete a National Register of Historic Places nomination for the Grantwood Allotments Historic District in Glenville.

Alexia Miracle is a rising senior at Cleveland State University from Wickliffe, Ohio, studying nonprofit administration. This spring she interned with CSU’s on-campus food pantry, Lift Up Vikes! and is excited to spend this summer working with the Lutheran Metropolitan Ministries as they plan their 55th anniversary events calendar.

Gloria Mireles-Barrera is a recent graduate from Baldwin Wallace University, where she studied creative writing & public relations. She has worked with different local nonprofits such as Ingenuity Cleveland, Rollin’ Buckeyez Foundation, and She Elevates as a grant writer. Currently, she is the grant writer for Its Mine Movement, a Philadelphia nonprofit focused on mental health. This summer she will be working with Building Hope in the City to celebrate the 5-year anniversary of their Rally CLE micro grant process.

Thomas Vodrey is a rising junior at Denison University studying politics and public affairs with a minor in computer science. He will be working with the Western Reserve Land Conservancy and the Cleveland Tree Coalition this summer on the Reforest Our City program, conducting research and data analysis, completing the Geographic Information System inventory of trees, and helping to put the forest back in “The Forest City.”

Alexis Watkins is a rising senior at Baldwin Wallace University. She is pursuing a degree in communication studies while minoring in marketing and English. They are excited to be working on upcoming programming and fundraising initiatives as an intern at Lake Erie Ink this summer.

Jane Jusko is a rising junior at the University of Chicago majoring in law, letters and society, and Spanish and Portuguese language. As an intern, she will be working with The City Club of Cleveland.

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!

Olivia Payne and Michellet Rojas-Brand will be working with the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland.