Now Recruiting The Columbus Foundation 2020 Summer Fellows!

Looking for a paid internship?

Interested in helping Franklin County nonprofits by supporting their diverse efforts from event planning and fundraising, to program delivery and storytelling across social media platforms?

Are you a college junior, senior, May/June 2020 graduate, or a graduate student in the fall of 2020 and have graduated from a Franklin County high school, OR a college junior, senior, May/June 2020 graduate, or graduate student attending a Franklin County college or university with a strong academic record?

If so, click here to apply for an opportunity to become a Columbus Foundation Summer Fellow at one of 14 nonprofits doing excellent work in service to our community. Visit the 2020 Host Sites page for more information on the organizations and projects. Deadline December 18th, 2019.

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Summer Fellows 2020!

We had a fantastic time hosting the Fellows this year! It is always an honor to watch them grow, gain experience, and make an impact in just 10 short weeks.

Are you a nonprofit organization? Do you have a need for added capacity for an important project that could be accomplished with one of Columbus’s best and brightest young people? If so, consider applying to host one of The Columbus Foundations Summer Fellows in 2020. Details below.

The Columbus Foundation is now accepting applications from nonprofit organizations for the 2020 Summer Fellowship Program, which links college students to meaningful experiences with area nonprofits.

Nonprofit organizations have the opportunity to host a summer fellow for a 10-week period from June 1, 2020 to August 7, 2020. Nonprofits must have a specific program to assign to the Fellow with specific objectives that will be completed during the 10-week period.

Fellows will:

  • Be a college junior, senior, May 2020 graduate, or a graduate student in the fall of 2020; and
  • Be a graduate of a Franklin County high school attending any four-year college or university; or
  • Be a junior, senior, May 2020 graduate, or graduate student attending a Franklin County college or university.

Organizations that hosted a Fellow in 2019, governmental agencies, colleges, universities, or other funding organizations are not eligible to apply. [View the application and additional eligibility information.]

All applications from nonprofits must be submitted electronically by the close of business on Friday, September 13, 2019. We encourage you to go to the website and use of FAQs for further information on the Summer Fellowship Program. Organizations selected will receive a grant to cover a stipend for the Fellow.

If you have additional questions, please contact Dr. Mark Lomax, II at


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Summer 2019

It is really hard for me to put into words the experience I had this summer as a a Fellow with the Columbus Foundation and the impact that Best Buddies had on me. In the simplest of terms, I met some of the most inspiring people and had some of the most transformative experiences.

Catlin Layton, the State Directors of Best Buddies Ohio is one of the most driven people I have ever met, and has taught me how to go about identifying and and accomplishing your goals.
Abby Rampe, the Program Manager for Best Buddies Ohio has demonstrated the importance of effective communication and the variety of ways to engage a group of individuals.
Both of these lessons are ones that I will take moving forward in the nonprofit sector and really helped to strengthen my skill set in working in the development side of a nonprofit organization.

All of the Ambassadors that I met through the various trainings and Leadership Conference are some of the best people that I have ever met-their stories and personalities have showed me how important the programs at Best Buddies are and put into perspective how life-changing these programs are. For example, one Ambassador that I met has been involved with Best Buddies for multiple years and attributes so much of her self-confidence to the people and experiences she has had with Best Buddies. Also, I was able to see first-hand the way in which ambassador trainings help to inspire these individuals and give them the confidence to tell their stories, be leaders in their own life, and ultimately become advocates for Best Buddies in their communities.

All in all, I am beyond thankful for the experiences I had and people I met in the summer of 2019-its one that not only solidified the goals that I have for myself but defined the person and leader that I want to be.

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Week 10: Viva Cristo Rey!

Much like my first week at Cristo Rey, this week has been full of activity as the teachers and freshman class are back in the building to complete their two weeks of business training. It feels very full circle that both my first and last weeks here were bustling with people and activities. Seeing students back in the building makes it even harder to leave!

Even though it was my last week and I had time to break out of my normal routine and visit business training classes, I still spent a lot of time putting the final touches on the oral history project. I even was able to present a little preview of the oral history collection to the Cristo Rey teachers, who all seemed really excited with the final product. I hope it attracts lots of listeners! You can even listen here: 

I am so grateful I had the chance to work at Cristo Rey Columbus this summer. Some of my goals that I discussed with my supervisor at the beginning of the Fellowship included feeling as if my final projects truly contributed to the mission at Cristo Rey and feeling like a professional rather than a student. I feel confident that I have achieved both of these goals, and developed many more skills along the way. This summer I was able to dive into the world of development by learning about marketing, communications, and event planning. I also was so lucky to be placed at a high school and receive more exposure to K12 education. I am more confident than ever in my hopes to pursue non-profit work that focuses on improving educational outcomes post-graduation. 

Thank you to all who have supported me throughout this summer! The entire staff at Cristo Rey were so gracious in welcoming me to the team and supporting my work. I am especially thankful for Rachel Miller, my supervisor, and Carly Miller, the Assistant Director of Development. Both of them made me feel like part of the Development team and always were there to guide me when I needed help. Also, thank you to the Dr. Lomax, Melissa McCool, and the Columbus Foundation for this opportunity. This summer has shaped me in ways I never could have imagined. Viva Cristo Rey!

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A Final Goodbye

I’ve said it a million times, but I truly cannot believe that this is going to be my final blog post. I don’t want to steal my presentations thunder, so I am just going to talk briefly about my last full day here. People have been very kind in approaching me and thanking me for the work I did in such a short time.  There are two other employees celebrating their final full day with Big Brothers Big Sisters today as well, so we went out to a big group lunch. Once everyone arrived and was seated, my supervisor took it upon herself to stand and say a few words about what my time here meant to her. While it can be awkward hearing people say positive things about you in a group setting, I felt truly valued by this organization and her specifically. I know this summer was productive in helping shape my ideas and aspirations for the future, and I have my supervisor to thank for that. She also presented me with a small gift bag full of BBBS products (and a bottle of wine). This is her busiest time of year, so it truly shows how big her heart is that she went out of her way to put this gift together for me.

Overall, I could not have had a better experience this summer, and I can’t imagine spending the past 10 weeks anywhere else. I am looking forward to hearing back about my future with BBBS and progressing in this field.

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History & The Future

As my final hours come up at the MAC, I find myself reflecting not only on my time here but on the past century as well. My project this week was to compile the history of our building via old images, newspaper articles, and a big stack of old files that I scanned into our computer system. With the McConnell Arts Center’s 10 Year Anniversary coming up, my supervisor thought it would be a great idea to shine a spotlight on the story of how our building came to be. 

As a tried and true nerd, I found this project to be extremely interesting. I was able to use the skills I picked up in my music history class to do some research both online and in the Worthington Library. I have a lot of fun sorting through old documents and connecting the dots to build a more complete timeline.  

My favorite tidbit that I learned through this process was the story of a “kidnapping” back in 2006. While fundraising for construction costs to renovate the building, the Worthington Arts Council sold “Art People,” fourfoot plywood figures that community members could “adopt” and decorate for display. Apparently, several of these “Art People” were all gathered on the Village Green and one was stolen! There was an unofficial APB put out in the local newspaper to ask the kidnappers to bring the Art People back so that the community could continue to enjoy it. The name of the sky-themed Art People? “Art Takes Flight.”  

Between this project, the bench reupholstery, and the kids I got to work with this summer, I feel confident that I’ve left a positive mark on this organization. My time at the MAC has been fulfilling (and a heck of a lot of fun, too!). The people here have inspired me and taught me so much about arts advocacy and administration. After the chaos and business of this summer, I feel truly prepared for whatever this upcoming school year and my future have in store.

Big thanks to the rest of the staff, who surprised me with a signed card and a box of cookies this afternoon for my last day, and an equally big thanks to the Columbus Foundation, for sponsoring this opportunity.  

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Week 10

As many of my colleagues and friends in the cohort have expressed, I can’t believe it has already been ten weeks. I have learned so much, including how to use a CRM, how to write a grant, and how to cultivate a relationship with a constituent, from introduction to stewardship. I have met so many amazing people, from my colleagues at RMHC, to our volunteers, to our families, to our guest speakers at The Columbus Foundation, to the other fellows in the cohort. And yet, of course, there’s still so much to do!

I’m continuing to help plan a garden for the House. Having met with leadership in each department to define the garden’s purpose, activities, and hazards, I am now moving into designing the garden itself. OSU Franklin Extension has graciously provided me with soil testing kits, and I am creating a blueprint of the vegetable beds, and will then draft a materials budget, activities sheet, and timeline. This work feels like a direct,
holistic utilization of skills I learned at OSU’s business college, and I’m excited to see those skills transfer into a project and cause that I am passionate about.

Additionally, I still want to see the House begin to compost. We’re on hold until Innovative Organics creates a quote and plans a time to audit the House’s food waste production, but I hope the House continues to move forward in adopting a composting program

Earlier today, I received an email stating that one of the small grant applications I wrote during my first week of the fellowship had been accepted, it’s funny how things come full circle. I think of how when I started, if someone asked me “we just got this grant, could you make a stewardship plan?”, I wouldn’t know where to start. Now, the challenge is to make sure I leave clear instructions for someone to implement next week.

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A Sad Goodbye

It really feels like just yesterday I was standing in my kitchen when I got the email telling me I earned a spot in this Fellowship program. Yet here I find myself, writing my last post on my last full day of work. The personal and professional growth that has happened in these last 10 weeks will stay with me for a lifetime, and I feel so blessed that I got to be part of this amazing program

I had my last outreach visit today, and the kids seemed cuter and more eager than ever, which makes it that much harder to say goodbye to doing this almost every day! I wish I could always hear about how many teeth the kids have lost, them bragging about brushing their teeth twice a day, or randomly telling me that their older brother’s name is Kevin (I really love the random outbursts!). The kids I got to work with this summer have made my heart feel so full and made my days just a little more bright. I absolutely plan on coming back as a volunteer in the Fall, because I really cannot imagine going too long without playing with a giant toothbrush!

The staff at KidSMILES have really went above and beyond to make sure I got as much out of this experience as much as I could; I got to see a little bit of almost everything, and I cannot wait to apply what I have learned to my future career. As sad as it is to say goodbye, I know I am one step closer to reaching my career goals because of this program. I am looking forward to hearing about everyone’s experiences and talking about my own tomorrow! To my very small amount of readers, thanks for following me these past 10 weeks.

Perhaps my hardest goodbye – Douglas the Dog!
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See you soon, Ohio Wildlife Center

As my 10 weeks at this organization are coming to a close, I feel very thankful I was able to spend my summer here. On my last day today, the development team I was a part of all ate lunch together outside on a picnic table. We talked and laughed while we ate, and I know I am really going to miss all of the amazing people I have met through this fellowship.

This week has mostly been about out-processing and reporting on my projects internally to my team and organization. I also had to move out of my apartment this week, moved all of my belongings into my friends house temporarily, and move again this Sunday, yay!

I have been preparing for the final presentation at The Columbus Foundation tomorrow, and I can’t wait to hear about everyone else’s experiences as well. Some of my favorite thing I got to do this summer are feeding baby birds in the Wildlife Hospital, meet an albino baby bunny, be on the set of Good Day Columbus and photograph releases of wild animals back to their homes.

Even though today is the last day in the office, I know I will continue to build the friendships I have made this summer. This fellowship has affirmed my dream of working in the nonprofit sector advocating for and helping animals in need. This fellowship is definitely going to help me get there soon. I can’t wait to see what’s next. Thank you to The Columbus Foundation and Ohio Wildlife Center.

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Non-Profits: Where there’s Always Work to be Done

As one of my peers wrote in their blog, I am left wondering where the time has gone this summer. It seems like the summer began and ended before I could truly process my project in its entirety. Have you ever reached the end of a project and wondered if what you did will ever matter? That’s where I am. It’s not because I think my project didn’t matter – I think that creating a course of action for collecting and using stories in nonprofit work is extremely valuable. I think that it’s the fact that I’m leaving with so much work left to be done.

I think this feeling, though, can be described in many ways. For me, it’s the ever so frustrating sense that a social issue you’re working with may never be resolved. In my case, and I would argue almost all nonprofit cases, this issue is poverty. While it’s frustrating to personally grapple with the fact that I may only make a small dent in the path towards resolving poverty over the course of my entire lifetime, this opportunity still allowed me to remain hopeful. Though my project was tiny in the grand scheme of things, it’s important to remember that small wins are still wins. I loved every second of spending time with children at camp, no matter how challenging it could be. The smallest positive change in a child could be what causes a ripple effect to change their entire life for the better. What I’ve learned throughout this summer is that nonprofit work can sometimes be about just fighting for those changes. The work I did this summer may not solve poverty for everyone, but it may help at least one person achieve a better life in some way. It is important for those looking to work in this setting to not devalue small scale changes.

My project could help make some of those small changes, and I’m leaving with that knowledge. I’m also leaving with a deeper respect with those who dedicate their lives to nonprofit work. I think nonprofits aren’t given the credit they deserve for their resourcefulness, grit, and unmatched passion. I’ve been challenged to think more about what makes a leader and have come to believe that our society sometimes overlooks the greatest leaders of all – those that exist in the nonprofit sector.

I already miss all the campers so much, and life is far less fun without them. I also thought I would stop taking naps after work because being in an office shouldn’t be as tiring as working with kids. I can confirm that I am still napping; the real world is hard, y’all.

Thank you to SON Ministries for trusting in me and thank you to The Columbus Foundation for the opportunity to immerse myself in nonprofit work.

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