I moved to Cleveland last year, and becoming involved with Cleveland Mediation Center (CMC) through their volunteer program has been a large part of my transition to this city. I was looking for opportunities that would build upon my legal experience and training while also involving me in the community. A quick search online brought me to the CMC website where I found their volunteer program. I registered for their Fundamentals of Mediation Training, which would conveniently also help me fulfill my Continuing Legal Education requirements.
The Fundamentals training itself was an immersive and educational experience. I learned about and practiced mediation with a diverse group of professionals from all over Cleveland and other parts of the country. Training alongside people with different professional experiences added so much value and insight to the different ways in which mediation can be used. Following the Fundamentals training, I have been working with CMC’s staff mediators to train to be a volunteer mediator. These sessions have taken me to the different community resource centers integral to Cleveland. I’ve learned about the struggles involved with seeking consistent housing when facing the risk of homelessness and eviction, and I’ve seen how mediation can be used to strengthen ties within a community and empower community members.
Being involved with CMC has helped me become a part of the Cleveland community in a meaningful way. I have added to my skillset while building lasting relationships with the mediators at CMC, all while learning how thoughtful community outreach can empower individuals to make decisions in difficult circumstances. I am grateful for the opportunity to be a CMC volunteer.