For many high school students and adult learners, figuring out how to attend college can be a daunting task. Case Western Reserve student Colin Hawkinson understands this—and is helping students and their families in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District navigate this terrain.
This summer, the rising senior has spent his time traveling throughout Cleveland teaching digital literacy classes to those in the community, with the ultimate goal of helping local residents work toward their dreams of attending college. His efforts are part of his internship with College Now Greater Cleveland, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping students and adult learners seek and succeed in higher education opportunities.
“I have loved being able to connect with parents/caretakers throughout Cleveland and not only to aid them in using technology, but also to listen to their stories and struggles,” he said.
In addition to his work teaching classes, Hawkinson has supported the nonprofit’s advising and programs departments, assisting with services such as financial aid advising and career and education guidance. He’s spent time updating documents, helping implement programming ideas, attending recruitment events throughout Cleveland and working on a gap year program.
Hawkinson’s efforts were made possible by the Cleveland Foundation Summer Internship Program, which supports local nonprofits by providing paid internships. Previously, Hawkinson completed an internship through the Summer on the Cuyahoga, a local program designed to retain talent in Northeast Ohio.
During both internships, Hawkinson has drawn the most value in personal interactions with Cleveland residents. As a classics major with a minor in bioethics, he feels his studies in the humanities have provided him with the knowledge and skills to take on these roles.
“Studying the history, languages, philosophies, etc. of the ancient world has provided me with numerous skills that will prepare me for a myriad of career paths,” Hakwinson says. “And, most importantly, I find it all extremely fascinating! Shout out to the wonderful faculty and students within the classics department!”
Now heading into his senior year, Hawkinson—also a member of the a cappella group Case in Point and president of the club volleyball team at CWRU—is eyeing a career in law. But thanks to rewarding experiences throughout his internships, a role with a nonprofit is still on the table.