Lake Erie Ink inspires growth
Just a few months after I graduated from college in 2018, I sat down for an interview with Amy Rosenbluth at Lake Erie Ink (LEI). I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, but Amy listened to my ramblings and half-assured statements about my qualifications. I had experience as a writing tutor, working with children, and being a member of a team. I had never stood in front of a classroom or created a lesson plan. Instead of that being a problem, [Amy presented it] to me as an opportunity—a way to expand my professional skills. With each question, I replied with, “Sure, I could do that.” LEI seemed to fit my assortment of interests and proposed a new challenge, so I dove in.
Task by task I began to take on more of a role in LEI’s marketing and communications, something I was never trained in during college, but an area of work that intrigued me. Designing flyers, organizing e-newsletters, and planning promotional posts has shown me that my organizational prowess also has a creative side, one that makes itself known in the office as well as the classroom.
I was also given a role as a teacher in poetry workshops and journalism programs without hesitation, which allowed me to flex my skills even further.
Over the past year at LEI, I have witnessed growing confidence in individual students. I have learned the benefits of the push and pull, the give and take. I have seen powerful words come from tiny hands. I have learned a deeply rooted patience during middle-school poetry workshops, and the ability to prioritize perspective after feeling that I had failed. I have discovered the joy of a teacher, smiling at the visible growth of her students. I have experienced many firsts inside the classroom and out, all crafted into a haphazardly arranged nonprofit collage. And it is beautiful, peeling edges and all.
The staff at LEI encouraged my interests, listened to my ideas, and fostered a work environment of dedication and respect that I strive to find wherever my future takes me. LEI is not only a writing space for youth, but a place of mentorship for young adults like myself in the phase of transition. While LEI focuses on fostering creativity in youth, it is an asset to folks of all ages in our community. I am incredibly grateful for all that I have learned over the past year at LEI and am confident that I will be able to dive into any new challenge with both feet.
Sarah Kloos graduated from Hobart and William Smith Colleges with a bachelor's in English. She currently lives and works in Cleveland Heights, but will be moving to Chicago in January.