in partnership with Summer of Solutions
Join the Ohio Student Environmental Coalition and its partners for a summer of community greening and environmental justice work on Cleveland’s near West side! Summer interns will work with community partners in Cleveland’s Detroit-Shoreway and Clark-Metro neighborhoods to address structural and material environmental challenges in three basic ways. These three tracks are not mutually exclusive, meaning that program participants will choose to participate in any combination of the following initiatives:
1. Proximity to Lake Erie spells harsh winters and hot summers for local residents. Interns will be trained in basic weatherization processes, and spend the summer using their training to effect immediate material change. Using program funding, field teams will work with families to weatherize their homes at no cost, thus investing resources and knowledge in the Detroit-Shoreway and Clark-Metro neighborhoods.
2. Although some Cleveland neighborhoods enjoy an abundance of healthy, local food, many lack even a single grocery store. Residents instead rely on overpriced and unhealthy food from convenient stores. These “food deserts” stretch over 90 blocks, and categorize large swaths of Cleveland’s East and West sides. OSEC interns will identify ideal locations for urban gardens and work with community members to make local agriculture a reality.
3. For 70 years, a highway has severed the impoverished Detroit-Shoreway neighborhood from its valuable lakefront in order to allow West Side suburbanites quicker access to Downtown. The Lakefront West Plan proposed by the Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization, and the Connecting Cleveland 2020 citywide plan put forth by Cleveland’s Planning Department and passed by the Ohio Department of Transportation, both call for replacing this Shoreway with an all-access, 35 mph street. After years of discussion, however, little of this plan has been put into action. Through research, policy advocacy, and community organizing, summer interns will create much-needed momentum to remedy this structural injustice.
Living on the near west side of Cleveland, interns will also come to love shopping at the West Side Market, volunteering at the Ohio City Bike Co-op, and catching a nice dinner at Ohio’s only LEED-certified restaurant. Interns will have the option of living with one another in housing provided by the program. A living stipend of up to $2000 will be available to those who most need it.
By the end of the summer, interns and neighborhood residents alike will have gained knowledge and experience related to home weatherization, urban planning, community organizing, and inter-community bridge-building. All will have enjoyed an unforgettable summer of fun and hard work on Cleveland’s Near West Side!
The PRIORITY DEADLINE for applications is Monday, March 22nd at midnight. Those who apply by this date will receive priority in decisions about acceptance and stipends; these decisions will be announced on Monday, April 5th. The final deadline for applications as full-time interns will be Monday, April 19th at midnight; these applicants will be notified on a rolling basis, and will hear back no later than April 26th. The date on which you start and finish your Cleveland Summer of Solutions Internship can be flexible, although full summer internships are expected to last 10 (not necessarily consecutive) weeks.
To apply, please EITHER fill out the online application form, OR send your resume and cover letter to OSECSummer<at>gmail.com, OR do both. This is your official application, so be thoughtful and concise throughout. If you have questions, you can leave them in the Final Comments box or send us an e-mail. Please note that you cannot save this application and continue working on it later; you may want to write and save your responses elsewhere and then enter and submit this form when you are done. Questions with “*” next to them are required and cannot be left blank.