CLNE Internship Program
In June 2020, CLNE welcomed its first cohort of interns from the Lutheran Center for Faith, Values, and Community & Piper Center for Vocation and Career at St. Olaf College. Nine weeks later, interns said that their experiences--conducted mostly virtually between June - August —enabled them to:
Contribute to CLNE’s mission and partner organizations
Better understand their personal intercultural competency and development
Become more aware of their own values, interests, skills and abilities
Increase their knowledge of community/public issues in North Minneapolis and how different types of people and organizations contribute to community development, social impact, and social change.
MEET THE 2020 SUMMER INTERNS
Hanane comes to St. Olaf from Tiznit, Morocco. Currently a sophomore, she is pursuing majors in Sociology/Anthropology and Race and Ethinic Studies, with concentrations in Africa/African Diaspora and Middle Eastern Studies. In addition to conducting research for CLNE partner organization Redeemer Center for Life, she collected community narratives around the role of faith, arts, culture and asset-based work in creating a strong community in the Northside, with the aim of changing the dominant narrative currently presented by the media.
“This internship has been a huge introduction to nonprofit work and community organizing work. Through youth work, I was able to reconnect with the youth and see how poetry and creative writing was a beautiful way to get the youth to speak about what’s concerning them, what they love, or what they’re scared of.”
Adinan (AD) is from Abidjan, Ivory Coast, and grew up in Denver, Colorado, being surrounded by mountains and a lively city scene. At St. Olaf, he is a sophomore, majoring in Political Science and Data Science. AD worked on several projects during his CLNE internship, with his primary focus being on youth development. Working alongside MNIPL, local poet Joe Davis, and Step-Up interns, AD spent his time investing in the creative expression and development of young people.
“All the projects that I’ve done have made me step out of my comfort zone. In order for you to grow, you have to learn to be uncomfortable. What I really admire about the CLNE staff is they always listen. They allow us to be present with ourselves and they always encourage our individual development.”
Lauren grew up in Chanhassen, Minnesota, and as a senior at St. Olaf is pursuing majors in English, Environmental Studies and Norwegian. During her CLNE internship Lauren advocated for outdoor equity and relationship partnership, led youth programming on climate justice with MNIPL and Step-Up interns, developed an outreach base of volunteer and donor networks; and encouraged creative and artistic expression within the CLNE and Northside community.
“I entered into this experience because I wanted to learn more about how nonprofits work… I felt really welcomed immediately, and I felt really comfortable to be myself. CLNE is really good at utilizing people's passions to drive their work. I guess I didn’t think that they would let an intern do that, so it was really cool to (for the first time in a professional setting), do things that I am passionate about, use my skill set to contribute to CLNE's work.”
Leila Rocha Fisher
Leila is originally from Rio, Brazil, and grew up in Barbados. Currently a sophomore at St. Olaf, she is majoring in History and Chinese, with a concentration in Environmental Studies. During her CLNE internship she worked with CLNE partners Redeemer Center for Life and MNIPL. For her primary project, she gathered photos and narratives from the North Minneapolis community, focusing on their aspirations for the future in an effort to replace negative narratives about North Minneapolis with real stories about and from the people who live there.
“I have loved every aspect of how we’ve engaged in art, knowledge, and community development, as a way to heal not only North Minneapolis, but also ourselves. . . I’ve learned to be more flexible, to go with the flow of the pace of life, and I’ve realized that I am capable of being in a leadership position.”
Margret considers Wilmington, North Carolina "home," though she grew up overseas. Now a senior at St. Olaf, she is working on a double major in Sociology and Anthropology and Women’s and Gender Studies, with a concentration in Environmental Studies. During her CLNE internship, she researched the history of neighborhood and organizations, helped develop a social media strategy for CLNE, and worked with the Upper Harbor Development Project in North Minneapolis. She used her personalized development plan for the Interpersonal Development Inventory to increase her cultural competency and enhance her CLNE work.
“I never thought that I’d be able to have an internship experience rooted in my desire to become a more culturally competent person, but the CLNE staff, my fellow interns, and everyone else I’ve encountered has supported me and has seen that as something valid and valuable.This has been the perfect internship for career discovery because I’ve been able to explore the worlds of community organizing, research, communications and social media.”