Academic Scholars & Their Mentors
by Abby Bova – Class of 2016
Over the summer I worked for NEOCH (Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless) on the Cleveland Street Chronicle, a newspaper sold by and mainly written by the homeless in Cleveland. My main job at the Chronicle was to assist the homeless vendors in writing their stories and to chronicle the stories of several people who were staying in the shelters and working with NEOCH for community service changes. One woman in particular, Ramona, changed my view on life. She taught me the importance of listening to others in order to make them feel as if they have not been forgotten. Ramona explained to me how she went from working as an educated social worker to living in the shelter. Conflicts with her mother caused her to spend time in jail and eventually led to her becoming homeless. After writing her story, Ramona came to me and told me that by simply venting and then reading her story through my words she felt as though she had far more control over her life and was able to move forward. This has inspired me to become a journalist. I hope to record the stories of the lives of young girls around the world who have been mistreated and silenced, so that they know someone is listening.
Editor's Note: Abby did a summer internship in 2015 at NEOCH and then did a week at NEOCH before she graduated in 2016. She wrote about her experiences for the class, and Ramona was touched by her thoughts. Ramona, public outreach staff at NEOCH, wanted to share the write up in the Academic Scholars booklet. Pictured above is Abby (center) accepting her award as volunteer of the year 2015 from Joyce (left) and Ramona.
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