SUMMER ON THE CUYAHOGA

Rating: 4.89 stars   9 reviews

Issues: Education

Location: PO Box 421 % Marianne Crosley Chagrin Falls OH 44022 USA

Mission:

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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

Our program continues to grow and is celebrating its 10th anniversary this summer. We have attracted over 70 college graduates to Cleveland now for graduate study and employment since we launched ths program. We continue to attract new employers which are the lifeblood of this program, as we typically receive 10 applications for every position that our employes post. Summer on the Cuyahoga is thriving!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

This program addresses the challenge of "brain gain" in Northeast Ohio by bringing high-powered college students to Cleveland for a summer immersion expeience. Our program, acceptance into which is highly competitive, provides paying internships which often present college students with their initial exposure to the world of work. We deliver leadership development training through interaction with local alumni, business, political, cultural and civic leaders. Participants enjoy social and recreational opportunities which promote their appreciation of why Northeast Ohio is an attractive place to live and work. We have served hundreds of students from elite universities including Yale, CWRU, Cornell, Smith, Colgate, U of Chicago, Harvard and Princeton over the last eight summers. Over 60 of these young people subsequently returned to Cleveland after graduation for advanced study and/or jobs.

Every year, we survey the students at the beginning and end of the summer regarding their perceptions of Cleveland. Every year, the results identify a dramatic improvement in participants' regard for this region. We believe that the willingness of over 60 postgraduates to choose Cleveland for their next stop in life offers compelling proof of the value and impact of our program.

Our board consists of alumni representatives from the participating schools. We have worked hard to develop and refine our operating and financial models to ensure the sustainability of our program. We have drawn attention at the national and international levels; Yale alumni have implemented similar programs in eight other US cities. Yale University sponsors programs inspired by this model in London, China and other major international centers.

SOTC took this program model from a single-university concept to one involving multi-school partnerships. As this approach takes hold elsewhere, the significance of our innovation has been noted by our current and prospective partners, in Cleveland and around the world.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

In our first year, my then-new company sponsored an intern. We had a very favorable experience with him that summer. We taught him a great deal and his work was highly productive and useful. As a board member, I enjoy frequent interaction with the students during their summers here. Their enthusiasm and gratitude for the experience they have is profound.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

i would like to find more summer positions. As we source more jobs, we attract more students, and the degree of competition among them also increases. This effect drives the quality of the students' and employers' experience upward. We struggle with this issue perennially and would welcome suggestions as to how we could change the organization to attract more jobs. Perhaps this might involve bringing in other schools, which is an ongoing topic of board-level conversation.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I was a double-alumni of SOTC in 2008 & 2009. As a student at CWRU, I didn't get off campus much during the school year. SOTC not only connected me with two awesome internships (an environmental non-profit and Tri-C), but it really opened my eyes to the city around me. The summers were jam-packed from biking the towpath, City Club lunches, behind the scenes tours at the zoo, and of course Lolly the Trolly. I currently live and work in Cleveland, and SOTC is a large part of the reason why I do.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I participated in 2008 & 2009- so not only did I get two great internship experiences, I also had a job (internship) when I graduated in 2009 at the height of the economic downturn.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

SOTC is pretty great as it is! I would love to see more opportunities for the Young Alums to be involved with the program (though I should just email the director to see what I can do!)

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

SOTC is a wonderful program and has truly impacted my life. Through my participation, I had the opportunity to discover my career goals, meet and become friends with bright students from across the country, and learn more about my home town. Because of SOTC, I received an internship with a company I built a strong relationship with and grew to love. I learned the type of work I truly enjoy and returned to this company the following summer.The organization also sponsored various networking events where I had the chance to not only meet new people, but also learn about the various opportunities available to me. One information session we had with a consulting firm particularly sparked my interest, and in turn I looked more into this field. As a recent college graduate, I am now working as a consultant. Additionally, the program sponsored events for the students to explore Cleveland and to gain appreciation for the city. Although I've lived here all my life, I definitely learned a lot more about what my city has to offer. Overall, the organization has had a large influence on me, that I'm sure the leadership never expected, and it deserves to be recognized for its many successes.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The organization exposed me to a career field that I'm currently in.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Hold an annual event where all former SOTC participants can reconnect, even those who are not local

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

As a life long Clevelander, I thought I knew everything about my home town. Participating in Summer on the Cuyahoga really opened my eyes to new places and experiences in the city. As a Case student, I was ready to leave home after college and try something new. SOTC helped change my perception and made me want to be a part of reversing the "brain drain" trend of Northeast Ohio. I gained valuable work experience in my preferred field, and secured a full time job with that company upon graduation. The professional and personal contacts I made through this program are priceless, and four years later, I'm still here.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I still work for the company i was an SOTC intern for.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Maybe add more schools to expose them to Cleveland.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I have been involved as a member of the SOTC Board of Directors since Colgate University first became one of the participating schools in 2003. SOTC is a small, but efficient, non-profit that runs an exceptional program with just a few staff and a tight budget. We have seen the direct, and indirect, impact of bringing talented youth to Cleveland, and exposing them to the riches of our region. Cleveland, and Northeast Ohio, has so much to offer and this program brings bright, energetic students to this region for a unique, challenging summer immersion experience. The program doesn't just offer internships - although that certainly is the core of the program. SOTC offers unique insight into not only the best of the Cleveland, but the challenges as well. Cleveland is in critical need of recruiting talented leaders to settle here after college. This program provides that crucial pipeline.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

As a graduate of Colgate University, currently one of the six participating SOTC schools, I have seen the net increase in alumni engagement in the program since its inception. Alumni have the opportunity to connect, in a truly meaningful way, with the students while they are here in Cleveland for the summer. I believe we are providing a critical service to these students - offering a unique, challenging, often life-changing opportunity, in order to gain experience in their chosen field of endeavor.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Increase civic, corporate and foundation funding; engage a broader spectrum of stakeholders at the Board level; increase the amount of summer internship offerings for our talented pool of prospective interns

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Review from Guidestar
Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

My son participated in this program 2 years ago. He truly enjoyed learning more about the City of Cleveland, how the PUC works , participating in the "Green Conference", and helping with city beautification projects. It was a truly worthwhile internship which helped refine his writing skills and public work skills. He met several students from other schools who he still keeps in contact with. SOTC is a wonderful program with constructive opportunities for students from a variety of schools. I hope it will continue to grow and attract students from all over the U.S.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Seeing my son mature with his work experience.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Hope that is receives more funding and corporate sponsors. I would also like to see more organizations offering more internships.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 4 stars  

I am an alum from one of the member schools. Summer on the Cuyahoga has energized our alumni group, but more importantly, more than 50 of the interns who spent the summer here were so impressed with Cleveland and all that it has to offer that they returned here after college for permanent jobs. I have greatly enjoyed getting to know these energetic young people and rediscovering my city through their eyes.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have seen students arrive in May who were skeptical about spending the summer in Cleveland who were transformed by all of the events and civic engagement activities that this program offers (in addition to the paid internships). Most leave in August full of enthusiasm for Cleveland and each year a group makes a lively video or photo montage about their summer here.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Invest in software to better track our program alumni.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

Summer on the Cuyahoga (SOTC) is a fabulous program because it exposes talented college students to the benefits of living in Cleveland. I have enjoyed being on the Board because I have heard from so many students how the program has changed their view of Cleveland from a negative or neutral one to a positive one. I have especially enjoyed interacting with the students and participating with them in all of the wonderful events that are offered each summer. As a mentor to a student each summer, I have had that student and several of his or her friends over for a barbeque and have enjoyed the lively conversation of the group. The SOTC program has had 65 students move to Cleveland upon graduation and currently there are approximately 30 that are living here now. For these reasons, I believe SOTC is unique and successful in its approach to bring talented students to Cleveland.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

as a Board member

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Not make any changes

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Review from Guidestar