Announcing 2023 Host Sites and Application!

The Columbus Foundation 2023 Summer Fellowship application is open!

This 10-week paid Fellowship starts June 5, 2023 and ends August 11, 2023. Fellows are matched with a nonprofit based on interests, skills, and the nonprofit’s specific needs or objectives, and are required to attend five professional development sessions culminating in a mandatory end-of-summer presentation on August 11.

Eligibility:

College junior, senior, May/June 2023 graduate, or a graduate student in the fall of 2023 and have graduated from a Franklin County high school. OR College junior, senior, May/June 2023 graduate, or graduate student attending a Franklin County college or university. Highly desired qualifications: A strong academic record (preferably a 3.0+ GPA); and strong English oral and written communication skills.


Click HERE to access the application.

2023 Host Sites

At Home By High

Mission: To provide support, connectedness, and to enable independence for adults ages 50+ in the organizations’ service area.

Project: To increase community awareness through the planning and implementation of a sustainable social media strategy.

Cartoon Crossroads Columbus

Mission: To provide an international showcase for the best of cartoon art in all its forms, including comics, animation, editorial cartoons, newspaper strips, and beyond, in a city that is a growing center of importance to comics and cartooning.

Project: To support staff through event planning, increasing earned income, and implementation of a marketing strategy.

Central Community House, Inc.

Mission: To empower people to reach their full potential, be self-supporting, and live cooperatively with all others by building community that meets the needs and nourishes the creative aspirations of one another.

Project: To support staff through event planning, increasing earned income, and implementation of a marketing strategy.

Children’s Hunger Alliance

Mission: To ensure that children without access receive healthy food, nutrition, education, and physical activity.

Project: To support the development team with a focus on special events, fundraising, and volunteer engagement.

Columbus Neighborhood Health Center dba PrimaryOne Health

Mission: To provide access to services that improve the health status of families.

Project: To develop outreach and implementation strategies for behavioral health programs at two school-based health centers.

Equitas Health Inc.

Mission: To be the gateway to good health for those at risk of or affected by HIV; for the LGBTQ+ community; and for those seeking a welcoming healthcare home.

Project: To assist with agency coordination and representation at LGBTQ+ Pride events around the state.

Green Columbus

Mission: To promote sustainable living and environmental community building in central Ohio.

Project: To assist with the community urban tree initiative in Linden and Hilltop communities working to support canopy restoration.

Jewish Family Services

Mission: To help individuals and families achieve economic self-sufficiency and emotional stability.

Project: To develop and implement a marketing and engagement plan for stewarding and acknowledging partners, funders and program partners.

Leveling the Playing Field

Mission: to expand access and equity within youth sports and recreation programs in under-resourced communities.

Project: To support the launch of the new central Ohio site.

Ohio Designer Craftsmen

Mission: To engage and enrich the community through high-quality exhibitions, education programs, and to support and promote the professional development of fine craft artists.

Project: To be the assistant camp coordinator for campers ages 6-17 assisting with the development, planning, and implementation of summer programs.

Riverview International Center Inc.

Mission: To empower New American neighbors by supporting individuals, strengthening families, and nurturing community.

Project: To lead the summer program for elementary children and the summer reading program for middle school students.

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio

Mission: To create, find, and support programs that directly improve the health and well-being of children and their families.

Project: To support the Cause Marketing campaign by creating a sustainable marketing campaign, securing new corporate partners, and executing the strategy.

St. Vincent Family Services

Mission: To help families build bright futures by providing trauma-informed pediatric behavioral health care within a learning community to change the lives of children and families.

Project: To create a communications strategy that engages donors and stakeholders, and support staff in planning fundraising events.


The Women’s Fund of Central Ohio

Mission: To transform the lives of women and girls by mobilizing the collective power and passion of all people working together.

Project: To create a sustainable communications plan that increases organizational visibility in the community. 

We Amplify Voices

Mission: To heal communities through creative expression

Project: To support summer camp programing as the activity enrichment coordinator.

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Week 10: Summer Recap

What a summer! I can’t believe that this fellowship experience is already over. Even though time flew by, it was filled with lots of learning and growing, both personally and professionally.

At ETSS, it was great getting to work with Eric and Destiny of the Advancement team, and Lilu and Diego on the Youth Summit. I learned and practiced many new skills, such as those involved in event planning and external communications. I hope to stay connected with their work and cause and remain in contact with everyone there.

Through my time at the Columbus Foundation, I learned a lot about professional pathways, and how to become a leader that helps others find and use their power for good. Before this summer, I had never really thought about leadership in this way, or at least I have never been taught to think of leadership in this framework. However, it makes sense. A good leader not only helps people, but also teaches those around them to be better leaders than themselves. In order to keep the mission and good work advancing, growth must always be taking place.

I have also met so many wonderful people through my time at the Columbus Foundation, including the cohort of fellows. My fellow peers have accomplished so much, and I can’t wait to see all that they continue to accomplish in the future. It was amazing getting to know all of them, and I hope to keep in touch with everyone.

Along with the fellows, we have had so many wonderful guest speakers during our professional development sessions. I am excited to continue talking to one speaker in particular, Nick Jones, about his work with Healthy Neighborhoods, Healthy Families at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

Lastly, I wanted to thank Dr. Mark Lomax and all of the Columbus Foundation for this amazing opportunity. I am extremely thankful for all this fellowship had to offer, everything I have learned, and all the connections I have made.

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Final Goodbyes!

Wow, the fellowship is over! It has been such a great experience working with MY Project USA and the Columbus Foundation. I believe that this fellowship is great for any individual who is interested in working at a grassroots level. This summer has taught me many lessons that I will carry forever. I appreciate everything that MY Project USA and the Columbus Foundation have provided for me. While working for MY Project USA, I was able to work on my professionalism, work ethic, and character building. I also worked on self-care and taking care of my mental health. All of these skills are important in having a healthy work experience. I needed to work on these skills because improving them now will make them excellent in the future.

Overall, I had an immersive experience at MY Project USA. I loved working with the kids and the summer staff. I was able to learn many things about a minority community that deserves to be heard. As a final project, I surveyed high schoolers about what they know about community service. It was interesting to hear what they believed in and how they wanted to change their community. I have very high hopes for the youth at MY Project USA. These young people are fantastic, active, knowledgeable students that want to make a difference. I will spend one more week with them and hope I can guide them in the right direction to be a leader. I will always be grateful for this experience and hope to keep in contact with my supervisors, cohort, and leaders at the organization.

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Week 10: A Summer Reflection

Time flies. This summer was over with the breeze. Despite its short feeling, my summer was packed full of personal and professional growth thanks to the Columbus Foundation fellowship. 

I eyed this fellowship for a few years before applying (or rather, remembering to apply before the deadline). I remember my excitement seeing all of the host sites from this year and struggling to rank my preferences. So many of the organizations had missions that interested me. I recall seeing the job description for the Local Matters fellow and being intrigued. The role called for strong analytical and writing skills, two skills I had refined well throughout my undergraduate studies. I had the opportunity to briefly meet members of Local Matters during my internship last summer and enjoyed hearing about the work of their organization. The issue of food access was completely new to me and I did not know how to write an operations manual, but I preferred them highly because I wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone. 

Ten weeks ago, I was nervous to start the program. I was unsure if starting a full-time program before starting law school was the best idea for my well being. However, my fears were quickly quashed within my first week at Local Matters. My team members were all incredibly passionate about food access and displayed an intense enthusiasm for serving the community. I was immediately respected by my peers. Changing the internal operations of an organization requires receiving constructive feedback. In my experience, this is where many organizations fail during operational changes. Hearing criticism or ideas that challenge what one is currently doing is difficult. At Local Matter, the team was extremely receptive to every suggestion and worked collaboratively to identify best practice. This attitude was essential to success in my role. 

Drafting the operations manual pushed me to use new skills and refine existing ones. This task requires me to collaborate with others more than any role before. I also had to analyze internal operations more than ever before. At times, writing an operations manual was challenging because of how disconnected it felt from the work of the organization. I had to constantly remind myself that improving internal capacities allows the organization to better execute their mission, which was a key source of motivation for me. While I will not be around to see what impact my work has, I am happy to know that I was able to use my skill set to help an organization that does amazing and important work. 

Despite the challenges of this summer, which included a brief battle with Covid and a great deal of stress about entering law school, I am incredibly grateful for having the opportunity to participate in this program. As I sit in a cafe in Durham, North Carolina looking back on the past 10 weeks, my heart is full thinking about the people I met and the assistance I was able to provide. I wish everyone I worked with in the fellowship the best of luck in all future endeavors!

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Week 10 at Seeds of Caring- Goodbyes and Gratitude

It is incredibly hard for me to summarize the end of this experience in a 300-word blog post, but I’ll try my best. Time does fly when you’re having fun!

When I started this fellowship, I came in with little to no expectations, only wanting to learn as much as I could about nonprofits and about the community here in Columbus. I love learning, especially more about what interests me, so I was excited to see what was in store for this summer.

I genuinely could not ask for a better experience. The team at Seeds of Caring embraced me and my curious brain with open arms and made me feel like a full-on team member. I knew at any point I could go to a team member for help or to ask more about what their role is, and they would be more than willing to help me. The amount of support I received from everyone was overwhelming and I have so much appreciation for this team. All these women have inspired me with their leadership and passion for the Seeds of Caring mission.

I feel honored that this team trusted me to aid in facilitating their programming, let me sit in on meetings discussing the future of Seeds of Caring, build new projects with current staff members, the list could go on. I have gained more confidence in myself as a person as well as a young professional in this field, and I have Seeds of Caring and The Columbus Foundation to thank for that.

Seeing kids’ faces light up when they find out they are being helpers, improving the days and lives of people they don’t even know was a key highlight from my time with Seeds of Caring. Kids have the biggest hearts; this summer has taught me that. They have the most empathy and capacity for compassion I have seen. Kids aren’t naïve. They know that there are things wrong in their communities. They’ll even say it- “well that’s not fair”, “why does that happen”, “can’t they get help?” are just some of the words I’ve heard from kids when talking about different needs or struggles our neighbors in Columbus have and are facing.

Seeds of Caring empowers kids to make their communities a better place for those in it by planting a seed of compassion, of friendship, of caring in children so that they grow with an understanding that they CAN make a difference, even if it is small in their minds. To others, it makes a world of a difference. As I close out my time with Seeds of Caring, I want to express my gratitude. I have learned countless lessons from all the amazing women at this organization. I have grown so much because of them, and my experience this summer is truly invaluable. To the entire team at Seeds of Caring, thank you all for sharing your mission with me and welcoming me. You all have made an impact on me, and I will never forget it.

To Brandy Jemczura, Sarah Jorgenson, and Liz Martin- thank you for being inspiring, encouraging, and supportive mentors to me throughout my time this summer. You took me under your wings and given me so much knowledge about this space and how I can make my mark and given me to confidence to do so.

To the fellows, thank you all for sharing your experiences this summer. I have appreciated hearing from you all about the impacts you’re making in Columbus. To The Columbus Foundation, thank you for this opportunity and for matching me with Seeds of Caring. It was the best fit for me, and I am so grateful.

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Week 10: Closing Remarks

When this fellowship first started, I read the blog posts of past fellows to get an idea of what I was supposed to be posting. Many of them wrote about how quickly their ten weeks went, and now here I am, in the same position as they once were. The ten weeks are over, and the fellowship is finishing up.

I have had the most incredible time at ARC Industries over the summer. I have had the pleasure to work with an incredible leadership team that continues to do everything in their power to ensure I am getting the support that I desire and need through this work. They have provided me with numerous opportunities for leadership and development, as well as given me the chance to sit in on meetings that provide me insights that will be helpful to me in my future career. Additionally, they have been there every single week with me, checking in to ensure I am alright. So, I would like to take this opportunity to express my deep gratitude to Jessica Garrett and Amanda Smith, the two incredible women who have not only been there for professional support, but who have also given me words of encouragement and affirmation throughout my time here. I got lucky with this team!

Additionally, I have gotten the chance to spend the past ten Tuesdays with the ASPIRE program, where I worked with not only an amazing staff, but amazing participants as well. Each day, I found myself looking forward to working. I developed relationships with these participants. I learned about their passions, their families, and even shared parts of my own life with them.

I believe that this internship gave me experiences and skills that I would not have ever been exposed to if I was not placed at ARC. This work is unpredictable, as most work is when you are working with people. I experienced participants having great days– days where they spent the entire time smiling. However, I also experienced some not so good days– days where someone became overwhelmed or days where someone got so frustrated that they couldn’t communicate their needs that they self inflicted harm. Yet, I have learned from all of it.

I have learned more than I can put into words from the amazing staff at ARC. I believe that there are only certain people who can handle this sort of work. It takes mass amounts of patience and compassion. There are days where I have been astonished at the grace these employees had in light of the situations they were put in. These employees spend their work day doing every job imaginable. They are nurses, teachers, friends, and so much more all wrapped into one.

After having the chance to sit in on some professional development meetings, my main takeaway is money, of all things. I wish I could snap my fingers and gift a billion dollars to ARC, and even more to the entire DD field. These employees deserve great pay, and the participants deserve to have whatever resources they may need (enough staffing, enough transportation, enough opportunities to get into the community). Unfortunately, similar to many other non-profits, there is simply not enough money to create a perfect system. When I first came into this roll, I found myself frustrated with these facts. After all, I am a college student who happens to be an idealist rather than a realist. My answer was always, “Just give them more money. It’s that simple”. However, after gaining some experience and actually learning what some of the red tape meant, I am slowly coming to understand how difficult “just giving them more money” can actually be. Everyone– staff, board leaders, and participants– all have the same goals. Everyone wants these participants to have meet their outcomes and have access to things that can enhance their lives. Yet, achieving all of that is much harder than it seems at the surface level.

So, in my final words as a summer fellow, I would like to say thank you (again). Thank you to the Columbus Foundation for providing me with this opportunity and placing me at ARC. Thank you to my supervisors, who have made this experience rewarding and fun. Thank you to my other fellows, who have been great peers throughout the summer. But, most of all, I want to thank the participants at ARC that I have had the pleasure of meeting. These participants have given me a new lens to look at the world through, and for that I am so grateful.

To my fellows, I wish you luck in your futures, and we are going to crush these presentations!

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Week Ten – Reflection

The fellowship is over! I can’t even begin to describe what an incredible and invaluable experience this summer with Ohio Humanities and The Columbus Foundation has been. I am not ready to say goodbye to the office and the staff. It feels very bittersweet, since I am sad to leave behind the kind and amazing team at Ohio Humanities but I well prepared and ready to move on in my career as a leader in the nonprofit sector because of the skills and experience I gained as a result of the team’s encouragement and willingness to help me grow as a professional. Rebecca, Scarlett, Kiley, David, Aaron, Melvin, Jim, and Marc – thank you so much for everything.

I am told that the projects that I worked on this summer have been incredibly helpful for the advancement and development strategy at Ohio Humanities, and I am grateful to have had an impact. The database is organized and cleaned up which will be beneficial for future campaigns. All donors from the past two years have received some form of communication from me on behalf of Ohio Humanities to show how they are valued for their support of the mission, which will help the organization meet the goals of the advancement strategy. The screening at the Over-the-Rhine film festival sponsored by Ohio Humanities was a huge success, in part because of my organization and planning tactics.

All of my projects this summer were very conducive to my understanding of the functioning of non profits, and I now have much more clear understanding of advancement, advocacy, grant writing and reviewing, philanthropy, programs, board communications, and how to make all of these come together to make the organization achieve its mission.

Everything that I learned this summer put me in a position to develop my career and meet my personal goal of having an impact on my community through the mission of the organization that I work for, and I’m so excited for the opportunity to work hard to advance my career to a place where I have the capacity to do this. Thank you to The Columbus Foundation and Dr. Lomax for coordinating this amazing fellowship and providing lessons that I will always remember. I will forever be grateful for this opportunity and encourage all potential future fellows to apply.

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Week 10 What shadow do you cast?

Did I do enough? Where did the time go? These thoughts are orbiting my mind. They may be orbiting yours as well (fellows). It is hard to gauge your impact since it takes time for reflection and evaluation. Even though we may not have the answers now, I can ensure we have brightened the life of someone. That can be a coworker, child, fellow, family, or friend. I can say that I showed up every day, added to healthy workplace culture, and aimed to improve long-term capacities. Writing these blog posts has been a meaningful part of my fellowship. I hope you have enjoyed following my fellowship story, yet this is only a chapter in the book. I am starting employment with the USDA Rural Development department as a Tribal Relations Specialist as I move to Washington D.C. next week. Wish me luck!

Monday I had breakfast at Fox & Snow with Addie, Corporate Foundation Giving. I finished uploading all my pictures of summer programming and reflected on the school year. It was a great summer, and I worked from an administrative and programming aspect, a worthwhile experience. The CEO, Doug Wolf, took time to hear my raw perspectives and opinions on the organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Tuesday was a wholesome day. The Staff threw me a farewell lunch and it had many familiar faces present. I was able to discuss my future professional and personal plans with everyone. They gifted me a thoughtful card and a sleek long sleeve.


Wednesday, we gave feedback on our fellowship experience and heard from Doug Kridler, President, and CEO of The Columbus Foundation. I spent Wednesday editing and wrapping up reports. Thursday will be a day of housekeeping as I double-check that all job tasks, supporting documents, and work equipment are properly in place. I will make sure to say my goodbyes, rather see you next time to a few of the Club members. Some of them have asked me to visit during their school years, I am touched and wish them the best. Tomorrow is the fellow’s luncheon dinner; I’ll do what I do best and put on a show!

Looking to inspire the next generation of Leaders? Check out our open positions! Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Ohio (screenfast.biz)

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Week 9: Growing to Maintaining

This past week, the focus regarding the Sustainable Business Directory has shifted slightly from growing to maintaining. Meaning, the goal for the final few days is to ensure that the Sustainable Business Directory is ready to be launched and presented to the public. I am still adding businesses to the directory, but that is no longer the top priority. There are enough local businesses within the website now. It is just a matter of if the website itself is easy to navigate and find specific businesses effectively. Some day this week, we are going to have a focus group meeting with a few board members and other people close to Simply Living. The purpose of the meeting is for people that have not interacted with the Sustainable Business Directory to offer suggestions that will help improve the website. The Sustainable Business Directory is going to live on well beyond my fellowship this summer which means maintaining an effective directory is crucial. I am looking forward to the ideas presented at the focus group meeting.


Over the weekend, Simply Living had a table set up at the annual Grove City EcoFest. The EcoFest is a “naturally fun celebration showcasing green exhibitors and interactive family activities to inspire healthier living and preserving our environment.” Simply Living’s booth was set up in the Sustainability Zone. I was working the booth by myself for a few hours which gave me an opportunity to promote both Simply Living and The Sustainable Business Directory. We had flyers to distribute about the directory. When I gave my quick spiel to people passing by our booth, they seemed excited about it. We also had information about the Simply Living Garden Tour which is this coming weekend (August 13 & 14). The Garden Tour is a great way to learn about various urban gardening/farming methods. Overall, the Grove City EcoFest was a success and offered Simply Living more exposure to our community.

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Week 9: Marburn Education Collaborative Celebration

For the past couple of weeks, the institutional advancement team including myself worked on organizing and planning our Marburn Education Collaborative community celebration to recognize and thank all of our incredible donors who made it possible for Marburn to increase access to resources for students who learn differently through the opening of the Columbus West location.

I created a video of compiled photos to play on the TV screens at our Columbus West location during the event. The photos included tutoring sessions in progress and a celebration lunch for the special education intern students who tutored the students. The video also showcased some statistics about the Marburn Education Collaborative success since its soft launch in late February 2022. 

I also created some QR code designs that we printed to fit in 4×6 acrylic displays that linked to videos about Marburn and news articles about the Marburn Education Collaborative. The two articles were from The Columbus Dispatch and ABC 6. We placed the displays throughout the event space to give attendees the chance to learn more about Marburn. 

The celebration was a success and it was nice to see so many community members and donor representatives connecting. I also enjoyed listening to a few of our board members speak and give a toast during the celebration.

The donors who helped make the Columbus West location possible include:

  • Discover
  • Safelite Auto Glass
  • Scotts Miracle Grow
  • The Columbus Foundation
  • Big Lots
  • White Castle
  • AEP
  • Daimler
  • Jollay Family Foundation
  • Mortiz Family Foundation
  • Reinberger Foundation
  • Siemer Family Foundation
  • Harry C. Moores Foundation
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