As I begin week six of my summer internship with LMM, I cannot believe that I’ve already hit the halfway point. Beginning an internship remotely wasn’t easy, and I found myself worried that this experience couldn’t possibly live up to my expectations in a virtual setting. I was certainly proved wrong and have been elated to have the opportunity to interact with so many of you virtually. Through online group meetings and personal introductions, I have been able to learn how many of you serve the organization and the different responsibilities of your position. Thank you for being open to share with me and foster these relationships. This has certainly been the highlight of my time here so far.

During these past weeks, I’ve interned in both the Advocacy Department and the Communications and Development Department. I’ve learned that while advocacy can mean lobbying for legislation and working to make lasting policy changes, it’s much more than that. We can all be advocates. Maybe that means reading the news daily and sending articles to our friends and family or maybe that means highlighting and supporting the change that other people and organizations in the community are working towards. It starts with a constant cycle of education, yourself first and then others, and I believe this may be the most valuable lesson that I will carry with me after my time at LMM. I also recognize that communication is the vehicle for any community outreach, thus both the departments need each other to coexist!

In this week’s blog, I’d like to briefly share with you the two main projects that I’m currently working on. I look forward to updating you on my progress!

My first project requires that I search for new corporate foundations that align with LMM’s mission and services. I’ve discovered that this a challenging, yet important process and that it is vital to take into account charitable giving barriers such as application deadlines and/or the specific area or location the company’s foundation provides for.

I have also been working on a joint social media campaign with the other CSSA summer intern, Charlie. Our campaign aims to educate residents in Cleveland on how to register to vote, how to request an absentee ballot, and how to complete the 2020 Census. Through this, I’m eager to learn what forms of communication are most successful in speaking to LMM’s audience on social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. I have had the incredible opportunity to work with a graphic designer to create media graphics, and truly channel my creativity! I’m currently in the process of creating a webpage of resources to add to LMM’s website that will hopefully encourage further civic engagement.

To reach hard to count populations, Charlie and I plan on doing additional groundwork this summer, leveraging our community’s churches and libraries. We recognize the importance of this as many do not have internet or social media.

Thank you LMM for this incredible opportunity!
Emel Terzioglu