My name is Kyle Dipre, and I am a fall 2018 intern at Cleveland Mediation Center. I first encountered the organization through internet research. Currently in between graduate programs, I was looking for ways to further develop my interests. I am an aspiring lawyer and mediator with an interest in conflicts affecting religious communities. I believe that mediation is a more effective means than litigation for adjudicating these types of disputes. Not only does the latter violate many religions’ norms, but judges are often insufficiently knowledgeable about religion. I hoped that a dose of experiential learning would help me to hone my interests.
My experience thus far at Cleveland Mediation Center has exceeded my expectations. Through personal mentorship and hands-on learning, I have been exposed to all facets of the mediation field. My most significant contribution as an intern has been helping to launch a mediation initiative with Cuyahoga County’s municipal courts. Not only have I gleaned invaluable insight into the local legal system, but I have witnessed the many benefits of mediation for resolving community differences. Additional opportunities—namely supporting mediation trainings and conducting research—enable interns to cultivate professional skills within a close-knit community.
Cleveland Mediation Center, while not religiously-affiliated, has enthusiastically supported my interests. It is a welcoming and inclusive community, dedicated to promoting diversity of all forms. I strongly recommend that passionate and hard-working students with an interest in conflict resolution seek out opportunities to get involved. No organization in Cleveland will better equip you with the experiential learning you will need to become a successful mediator. There’s no smarter place to be in these polarizing times.