Meet the CGA Interns

Name: Lola Cleavaland (She/Her)

School: Emory University

Major: Political Science and Economics

I had the pleasure of interning for Common Good Atlanta for almost two years while studying at Emory University. I worked with CGA in multiple capacities as a peer tutor in the classroom and an assistant site director researching pedagogy in prison classrooms. My time with Common Good Atlanta taught me about the ways in which collaborative education can connect and empower individuals experiencing incarceration. My work with CGA developed my skills as a student, a team member, and a critical thinker both inside and outside the classroom. Throughout my experience, the entire CGA team brought me on as an active and valued member of the organization. They made it their priority to support me in my work and ensure that I had the tools necessary to uplift CGA’s transformational efforts.”


Complete this sentence: Common Good Atlanta is… “transformational”


What do you plan on doing after you complete your degree?: “After I complete my bachelor’s degree, I hope to pursue a career in public policy and the law.”


Name: Grace Church (She/Her)

School: Emory University

Major: Political Science and Economics

“This past summer, I worked with a team of Common Good Atlanta interns and Patrick Rodriguez to create training materials for new incoming professors. In the past, CGA has used a peer-to-peer training approach that was time-intensive and lacked standardization. We conducted research and interviewed CGA alumnus to understand Common Good students’ needs better and gather the most essential information to relay to new professors. The most impactful part of this experience was speaking with the CGA alumni. They all had extremely positive things to say about their CGA experience and the program’s impact on them. A common theme throughout the interviews was the level of dehumanization that occurs in prison and the fact that Common Good serves as a safe space for students taking their classes. As a college student, I am regularly encouraged to express my ideas and explore intellectual concepts, which I often take for granted. Speaking to these CGA students puts back into perspective how lucky and privileged I am to be able to do this every single day.”


Complete this sentence: Common Good Atlanta is…” a new beginning.”


What do you plan on doing after you complete your degree?: “I plan to take one year off after graduation and then attend law school.”


Name: Olamina Jimenez (They/Them)

School: Emory University

Major: African American Studies

“Working with CGA throughout the first half of 2021 was deeply rewarding. As an intern, I had the privilege of reading students’ work and providing them with feedback. It’s an experience I treasure for the emotional vulnerability and intellectual stimulation I got to experience alongside the amazing people at Burruss. I’ve felt myself shift and grow with every interaction I’ve had with CGA’s faculty and students, ever since I was introduced to the organization in the Fall of 2019, the first semester of my freshman year. My drive towards social action was oriented towards the revolutionary power of democratized education, and I’ve since decided to pursue a career as a professor. I’m constantly reminded of and grounded by the potential held within the marginalized and condemned. Their never-ending pursuit and embodiment of subjugated knowledge are instrumental in constructing our collective futures, and I’m proud to work with an organization that is helping them recognize this within themselves.”


Complete this sentence: Common Good Atlanta is…” freeing.”


What do you plan on doing after you complete your degree?: “I plan on going to grad school and earning my Ph.D. in African American Studies.”