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CWS Feature: Emanuel '24 & The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland

It’s not if you get knocked down, it’s whether you get back up.

Class of 2024, Emanuel reflects on these words as he looks back on his Corporate Work Study journey. After being asked to leave his first job, Emanuel was placed into Saint Martin’s retraining program. This eye opening experience, as Emanuel describes it, pushed him to grow as a young professional and become the thriving employee he is today.

Emanuel recognizes that he made his first work study experience harder than it needed to be. He kept to himself, did not like to ask questions, and just tried to get the work completed as fast as he could. This led to him making errors on his projects and producing poor quality work which eventually caused his dismissal.

He entered the work study retraining program where he took time to reflect on his performance and learned how to ask questions, complete work correctly and efficiently, and how to build relationships with his coworkers. He shares, “Getting fired from my job caused me to change my mindset. I know I am still a teenager and my coworkers have to understand that, but I also have to act mature and rise to the occasion. The retraining program helped me to recognize that I am capable of that and motivated me to do better.”

Now as a student associate at The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland, a law firm providing legal services at no cost to clients with low income, Emanuel is thriving as a young professional. His responsibilities include checking printers, calling clients to share attorney schedules and contact information, preparing mailing and information packets, and more. Reginald Holt, Intake Specialist at Legal Aid, shares, “Emanuel has been a solid contributor to our team. He has successfully executed the tasks assigned to him and at this point requires very little direct oversight in order to complete tasks. Even in limited circumstances where improvement was needed, Emanuel responded to positive criticism and incorporated changes as required. Overall, he has been a joy to work with!” Saint Martin’s work study team echoes Legal Aid’s sentiments noting the incredible growth they have seen in Emanuel over the years.

Emanuel’s biggest takeaway from his work study experience…professional work environments are not like what you see in the movies. He shares, “In movies, everyone just works hard in silence to get the job done. I’ve learned that you can be productive and finish your work while also creating lasting memories and relationships with your coworkers.” He is proud of his growth in his work study job and hopes to continue working with Legal Aid Society of Cleveland during his senior year.

Although Emanuel may have encountered some difficulties at the start of his work study journey, he is grateful for the opportunity to fail and the grace his supervisors and work study team have shown him through the retraining process which has helped him to get back on track and realize his potential.


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