This summer, the 20-year-old rising junior at the University of Maryland is helping Gratz College redefine its presence on social media. Ostroff, a Philadelphia native and 2018 gradate from Upper Dublin High School, was granted a seven-week internship in the JEVS Human Services’ Franklin C. Ash program.
Awarded to Jewish young adults entering their junior or senior years of college in the fall, the internship matches students with Jewish nonprofit organizations in the Greater Philadelphia region. Although she’s working remotely, Ostroff is still gaining a unique perspective of how Gratz works.
“One of the things I wanted to get out of the summer was to learn how nonprofits work behind the scenes,” she says. “I wanted to see how all the moving parts come together.”
Ostroff is no stranger to Gratz, however. She attended Gratz’s Jewish Community High School for her junior and senior years and earned a teaching certificate.
Now she’s dedicating 15 hours per week to Gratz, focusing on alumni outreach and social media. Ostroff, who is studying public policy and communication with an emphasis in social influence, plans to work in the nonprofit field after she finishes college.
“My long-term goal is to go into nonprofit work,” she says. “That could be educational nonprofits or something to do with social justice and equality issues. I’m still trying to figure out exactly the path I want to take, but this internship is helping me get there.”
The Franklin C. Ash Summer Internship Program offers mentoring, networking and workplace experiences for high-achieving Jewish college students interested in nonprofit career paths. Over the years, Gratz has hosted several Ash interns in its library and high school programs and, beginning in 2019, interns have worked directly with the college’s Office of Institutional Advancement.
Tasked with helping the college develop strategic marketing and social media plans, Ostroff also has gathered information and written bios for a new Board of Governors web page. Additionally, she’s helping to build the alumni network through the official Gratz College Alumni page on Facebook.
Ostroff’s internship coincided with the nationwide “Black Lives Matter” protests, said Dodi Klimoff, executive assistant in Gratz’s Office of the President. Early on, Ostroff participated in a special meeting with Gratz staff during which they listened to each other’s experiences with prejudice.
“It was important that she got to know Gratz as a close and caring community,” Klimoff said of Ostroff. “Julie fits right into the Gratz environment. Her skills in marketing and social media are exactly what we needed help with. She is independent, creative and hard working. Her work during her short time with Gratz will make an impact that will last for a long time.”