Noah Leonard

APEX Fellowship | Noah Leonard

October 26, 2020   /  

Majors: Political Science (International Relations), Spanish
Class Year: 2023
Faculty Mentor: Paul Edmiston

As an administrative intern with Open Door Resource Center and Salvation Army in Upper Sandusky, OH I conducted aid eligibility interviews, organized events, and aided efforts with other organizations.

Noah Leonard will be online to field comments on Nov. 5 from 3:30pm – 5:30pm.

10 thoughts on “APEX Fellowship | Noah Leonard”

  1. Great summary of your internship and the outcomes on your Wooster education (and beyond!). Congratulations on joining the Wayne County Task Force. Students might wonder how much time these volunteer efforts take. What advise would you give other students about time management and working within community organizations off campus?

    Thanks for a great presentation.

    1. Hi Professor Edmiston, that is a great question. It is difficult to manage a busy student life with off campus work or volunteering. I think the most important thing is to for a student to prioritize their homework and academic success the most, and to communicate their schedule clearly. I often times cannot go to Wayne County Task Force general meetings, but I plan on being involved on at least one committee and finding times to volunteer that work within my schedule. Communication is vital when it comes to managing a busy schedule.

  2. Noah,
    Since you knew about Open Door before this internship, can you tell me how your initial experience differed from this past summer? Your presentation was wonderful. Hoping to see this experience as primary on your resume!

    1. Lisa,
      My experience this summer was very different than my initial experience. When I first volunteered at Open Door I was just volunteering, so it was far less hours and I was only teaching an English Second Language class, so I had fewer responsiblities. My past work experience there helped me get the internship over the summer because they were familiar with my work and skills. This summer I had many more responsiblities and had to represent the organization. Before I was less of a representative and more of a helper. This experience is absolutely at the top of my resume.

  3. Noah,
    This is a wonderful explanation of the impactful internship experience that you had. Your presentation makes clear just how much you got out of the experience, even given the unique and difficult circumstances, and how much your work did to help others. I’m excited that it reinforced your academic goals, and encouraged you declare your double major.

    What did you learn that would most assist other communities such as Wooster deal with the issues of poverty and homelessness (besides, as you said, the clear need for Spanish language skills and legal professionals working in this area)?

    1. Hello Professor Krain,

      Before this internship I was less aware of the means of combatting homelessness. For example, short term housing is vital for people to get back on their feet, and in a lot of places, especially rural areas, there is a lack of short term housing or homeless shelters with overnight capabilities. Larger cities do not have everything figured out when it comes to helping people in need, however, they are extremely likely to have homeless shelters, non-profits that own or manage short term housing, or other general resources that places like Wooster do not have yet.

      From a political science perspective this internship made me a lot more aware of the local politics and zoning laws that can make it difficult for shelters or short-term housing to exist. This internship made me a lot more familiar with the roadblocks to helping homeless or impoverished people in rural settings, which is extremely applicable to Wooster and Upper Sandusky.

  4. Noah,
    Thank you for this great presentation. You spent a great deal of time learning about the public support that surrounds people in poverty. Was there anything about this work that you found surprising?

    What steps might you take to change some of the policies you mentioned about no shelter in the county, but an inability to leave the county due to legal constraints?

    I’m glad to see you joined the Wayne county task force!

    1. Jenni,

      I was shocked to learn that in Ohio if someone has parole meetings in a specific county, they cannot leave the county even if they are homeless. During my work, there were many people who had altercations with the criminal justice system who had no means of transportation to go to their meetings, which made their legal situation worse, but it also made it so that these people had to live without shelter. If people with housing insecurity and parole meetings could more easily change counties so that they could be transported to a homeless shelter or short-term housing in another place, it would make it a lot easier to find shelter for people in need. Unfortunately, the way the laws are now meant that several of my clients had to live without shelter for a while during the summer because we could not take them to a shelter in a surrounding county.

      An easy solution is to make it easier for people with housing insecurity to transfer their parole cases to another county so they have more mobility and can go to a shelter. Additionally, if states or even local governments could fund short-term housing options for people in need, it would help a lot. At the organization where I worked, we would put people in a hotel for 2-3 days, which was all we could afford per person, and help them find a job. We would look for short-term housing, which can be month-by-month rentals or specialized housing for people without a home, and then help them look into stable long-term housing once they have enough money saved from their job. This process was complicated when we could find someone a job, but we did not have anywhere for them to live until they could afford a down deposit.

  5. Noah – You certainly had to navigate a lot of hurdles to even get to this internship, didn’t you? It was wonderful to hear how this has impacted your decision to declare your double major and to join the Wayne County Taskforce on Homelessness. Congratulations on a well-spent summer.

  6. Hi Noah,
    I really enjoyed watching your presentation.
    It is clear that you have a passion for advocacy and helping people find what they need to live a better life.
    Thank you for involvement in this important work.
    Anne Quinn

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