Student Spotlight: Donovan Young

Donovan Young Headshot

The Mandel School recently spoke with Donovan Young, a student finishing up his MSSA/MNO dual degree this semester, specializing in community practice for social change. He is the Louis Stokes Leadership Fellow in Community and Social Development, a fellowship established in honor of Cleveland civil rights pioneer and former Congressman Louis Stokes, and the Char and Chuck Fowler Family Foundation Fellow.

Describe your fellowship at the Char and Chuck Fowler Family Foundation.

I began in June of this year—Holley Fowler Martens, secretary of the foundation, actually sat in on my capstone presentation for Dr. Hussey's class in April. What I said must have resonated with her and she reached out to me and set it all up. The position is actually brand new.

Before I arrived, the foundation was entertaining the idea of updating their website and creating an annual report—I actually highlighted both of these recommendations in my capstone presentation. I made some recommendations on what these items might look like and they were receptive to my ideas and plan to implement them in the future.

I also helped the foundation revamp their grant-making procedures with an intentional Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) lens, compiled a list of best practices, and facilitated working group sessions on foundation strategy and operations with the board and staff, among other things.

I have really enjoyed my experience at the foundation and am glad I landed there.

Give a fun fact about yourself.

I spent part of my childhood (8 years) in Okinawa, Japan.

What do you do in your free time? 

In my free time I enjoy cooking and reading.