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 Briana Snoddy, who is working with Towards Employment, where she summarizes and cites research, monitors key issues, and tracks and analyzes legislation to support Towards Employment’s advocacy agenda and broader public policy platform, working to create career pathways for individuals that face barriers to employment.
College: Miami University (OH)
Hometown: Woodmere, Ohio
Internship Host Site: Towards Employment
How did you first hear about the Cleveland Foundation Summer Internship Program?
I was first introduced to the Cleveland Foundation Summer Internship Program by a family member who works in the nonprofit sector in Pittsburgh. She knew that I was interested in nonprofit work, and referred me to their page. Once I read over the details of the internship, I thought it would be a good fit for me, so I decided to apply!
What has been the most valuable aspect of your internship experience?
The most valuable aspect of this internship experience is the knowledge of policy that I have gained from my time here. I have been able to acquire tools to allow me to read, comprehend, and summarize policy information, as well as its implications for certain populations. By understanding the policy, it has helped me to better understand the real-life barriers that people may face in society.
What has been the most challenging aspect of your internship experience?
The most challenging aspect of this experience has also been the most rewarding aspect. My supervisor is the Senior Manager of Policy and Strategic Initiatives, and, with my psychology and criminology background, I did not know much pertaining to policy. This has been my first exposure to this type of work, so it could be challenging at times because I was in unfamiliar territory. However, I am sure that these new skills that I have learned will be valuable assets for me to have (hopefully) going into my future career in educational policy!
What are your career goals after college?
After college, I have accepted a position with Teach for America starting August 2018. After that, I plan to attend either law school or graduate school to further my studies on educational policy. Ultimately, I would like to be a driving force in the movement to fight against the ‘pipeline to prison’ phenomenon, correcting education inequality in this country.
How has this internship helped you grow professionally?
This internship has helped me grow professionally by allowing me to network with individuals all across the nonprofit sector. I have been exposed to nonprofits from work I have done with Towards Employment, and I have also been able to gain a better knowledge of the host sites of the other individuals in my cohort.
How has this internship helped you grow personally?
This internship has helped me grow personally by solidifying my passion to work in the nonprofit sector as a career. Seeing how underprivileged people have been adversely affected makes me want to give back to my community. I feel I can have the most positive impact on the lives of individuals by working in the nonprofit sector.
When you’re not working, what do you enjoy doing around Cleveland?
I enjoy being able to explore different parts of Cleveland. Over this summer, I have had the opportunity to spend time with my friends discovering new restaurants Downtown, in the Flats, and in Ohio City.
What advice would you give to someone considering applying for the Cleveland Foundation Summer Internship program?
APPLY! If you are interested in nonprofit work or if you think you might be interested one day …APPLY! You never know until you try, and this can be a great exposure and networking tool. It is not just an internship, it is an experience. On top of professional development you will obtain, you will learn more about Cleveland than you ever thought you would, and you get to do it with a group of like-minded peers.