It’s hard to believe, but the Cleveland Foundation Public Service Fellows have been working in Cleveland for just over a month now! This week, they participated in the first of a series of monthly professional development sessions that will continue throughout their yearlong fellowship. These sessions expose the fellows to a variety of initiatives, leaders and learning opportunities in Cleveland to encourage further pursuit of careers in the public sector. Each two-day session provides learning opportunities focused on a designated theme, as well as time for reflection, professional skills development and cohort-building among the fellows.
In their very first session held this week, the fellows were given an inside look at the past and present of civic leadership in Cleveland. Day one began with an overview of the city’s political history from Dr. Tom Sutton, director of the Baldwin Wallace University Community Research Institute and professor of political science. Fred Nance, partner at Squire Patton Boggs and former board member of the Cleveland Foundation, spoke with the fellows about the importance of public-private partnerships in Cleveland, drawing insights from his tenure as primary outside counsel to the City of Cleveland and former Mayor Michael White from 1991-2001. Then, Mr. White himself imparted leadership lessons to the fellows in a conversation moderated by Cleveland Foundation Program Director for Community Development India Pierce Lee. The day ended with a walk to City Hall, where the fellows met current Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, a lifelong Clevelander and veteran public servant.
On day two, the fellows convened at Cleveland State University’s Levin College of Urban Affairs for a day of professional skills development and training. In the morning, the fellows learned about the design and purpose of individual development plans, and were introduced to the resources that will be available to them throughout the course of the year to help them achieve their goals. The afternoon was dedicated to an exploration of emotional intelligence and how it can be applied in the workplace.
As the professional development sessions continue throughout the year, the fellows will each have the opportunity to design and lead their own session in partnership with their host organization. These professional development sessions are just one aspect of the Cleveland Foundation Public Service Fellowship. Learn more about the program here, and stay tuned for the next application window for the 2017-2018 cohort.