Ohio Wesleyan Student Works to Support Neighborhood Revitalization in Cleveland
Name: Luisa Pereira Duarte ’26
Hometown: Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil
Majors: Quantitative Economics and Finance
OWU Connection Experience: Summer internship with Burten, Bell, Carr (BBC) Development Inc. in Cleveland, Ohio
Duarte spent her summer working as a real estate development analyst intern for BBC, a nonprofit community development corporation with a mission of “empowering residents and revitalizing blighted and underserved communities” in Cleveland’s Central, Kinsman, Buckeye-Shaker Square, and Buckeye-Woodhill neighborhoods.
Her internship was coordinated by the Summer on the Cuyahoga (SOTC) program, which works to showcase and attract talent to Northeast Ohio. SOTC provides up to 80 internships each summer to students from nine U.S. colleges and universities, including Ohio Wesleyan.
“My primary job duties included conducting property research, financial analysis, market analysis, and supporting the Real Estate Development team in evaluating potential investment opportunities.”
My Favorite Moment
“Throughout this experience, I’ve found that every moment has been valuable overall, making it challenging to pinpoint a favorite single one. Some of them include attending a press conference, having lunch with my team, and networking at finance and entrepreneurship events. These moments have enriched my experience and allowed me to make valuable connections in the industry.”
“As my first real job experience, I’ve learned and gained so much in terms of work commitment, ethics, and professional skills. This internship has been instrumental in helping me embark on my career journey with better preparation for future internships and as I continue to explore and advance my education.”
“My experience has involved collaborating with Christopher Litzer, a graduate of the Class of 2014. From the outset, he has been supportive and always offered help, even before I moved to Cleveland. Christopher consistently strives to facilitate things for me and other Ohio Wesleyan students in the (Summer on the Cuyahoga) program.”
My Cleveland Experience
“Cleveland is a city with a fascinating history that has experienced both periods of prosperity and challenges. Once considered an affluent region in the United States, it eventually faced economic decline, leading to a significant outmigration of people seeking better opportunities elsewhere. However, the city is now undergoing a transformation, with a strong focus on investment and revitalization efforts to attract residents and visitors alike.
“As for my favorite experiences in Cleveland, attending lively concerts, going to karaoke nights, visiting museums and zoos, trail running, and going to the ‘beach,’ Lake Erie. My time in the city has been enjoyable, thanks to the chance to connect with other students, explore the city’s cultural attractions, and pursue my personal interests.”
Why I Chose Ohio Wesleyan
“I chose to attend Ohio Wesleyan University because of its diverse range of programs and majors, offering me the chance to explore various academic areas before committing to a specific field. The liberal arts curriculum was particularly appealing as I hadn't decided on a definite career path.”
My Plans After Graduation
“After completing my undergraduate studies, I intend to pursue higher education by enrolling in a graduate program in Finance. The University has been helping me prepare for this next step through its diverse classes and the assistance and support I receive from professors.”