For Immediate Release
Contact: Executive Director Eric McGarvey at or 440.941.4621

We applaud Jon J. Pinney’s grand challenge to Greater Cleveland at the City Club on June 8, seeking collaborative and innovative ways to address the economic challenges in Northeast Ohio and change the national conversation about Cleveland.

We would also like to reassure both Mr. Pinney and the broader community that Cleveland does have a homegrown organization with a 15-year track record of recruiting and retaining talented college students in Northeast Ohio: A modest but mighty nonprofit called Summer on the Cuyahoga.

On Tuesday, we officially welcomed 70 college students from seven colleges and universities to Northeast Ohio for paid summer internships with some of the region’s most dynamic employers, from the Cleveland Museum of Art to FlashStarts to BioEnterprise to the Rock Hall.

Summer on the Cuyahoga, founded in 2003 as Bulldogs on the Cuyahoga by native Clevelanders and Yale University alumni including Baiju Shah, began around the same time as our peer college retention programs Mr. Pinney mentioned in Columbus and Philadelphia.

We, too, are committed to retaining the highest possible percentage of college graduates, and encouraging them to launch their careers, plant roots and start families here.

That’s why we organize group excursions to and behind-the-scenes tours of some of our favorite attractions, from the Metroparks Zoo to Cedar Point to the West Side Market, as well as opportunities to attend Indians games, hear the Cleveland Orchestra, visit Playhouse Square, canoe the Cuyahoga River, bike the Towpath and attend the City Club. And it is also why we introduce participants to rising civic leaders in our corporate, public, and nonprofit sectors and engage them in discussions on important Cleveland issues and initiatives.

But we also draw most of our students from outside of Ohio: this year’s students are our most diverse and accomplished group ever. They excel at sports and musical instruments, speak more than a dozen languages, and come from 17 states and six foreign countries (Abu Dhabi, Canada, China, Nepal, India and Vietnam). Our interns were chosen from more than 600 applicants at Case Western Reserve, Colgate, Cornell, Denison, Ohio Wesleyan, Smith and the University of Chicago.

Over the past 15 years, more than 150 Summer on the Cuyahoga participants have returned to Cleveland for jobs or graduate school, most of whom are not from Cleveland originally, and more say they would gladly move here for the right job. When one alumnus was asked for his favorite memory of Cleveland, he said he keeps his entire SOTC schedule for that year taped to his wall as a reminder of his favorite summer internship.

Most importantly, we’re winning over Cleveland natives who rediscover their hometown, and sending new Clevelanders back to their campuses and cities praising Cleveland and its potential.

We, the alumni volunteers and staff members of Summer on the Cuyahoga, believe that we’re planting the seeds for Cleveland’s continued comeback – in the hearts of smart young professionals who might someday move back here to help write the city’s next chapter.

We invite others to learn more at ​​

For Cleveland,

Vikki Anderson, Former Board President
Timothy Beach, Former Board President
Janet H. Cho, Board President
Lynn-Anne Gries, Former Board President
Baiju R. Shah, Former Board President
Ashley Solomon, Board Vice President
Vice President Eric McGarvey, Executive Director
Renee Murry, Assistant Director

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