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Civic Leaders Fellowship Program Launches Its Fourth Year

Summer vacation for most college students brings a reprieve from coursework, labs and deadlines. And for 20 area students, it also provides an opportunity to gain valuable hands-on experience in their chosen fields through paid internships.

The Civic Leaders Fellowship Program is a community leadership initiative of the Community Foundation for the Ohio Valley (CFOV).  Now in its fourth year, the program matches selected students with participating host organizations and creates an internship paired with personal and professional development programming.

Students in the 2016 Civic Leaders Fellowship Program are, from left: Casey Wilson, Derek Hunter, Kaitlynn Hewitt, Collin Stipetich, Hayden Blazer, Jackie McDermott, Natalie Marquart, Ashley Grove, Taylor Cunningham. In the second row, from left: Dylan Wilkerson, Megan Cook, Miranda Heitz, Andrea Garrison, Christa Harshberger, Mason Lee, Jordan Miller, Jordan Riggs, Claudia Palmer, Azhiare Goodwin-Rowe, Micaela Connors
Students in the 2016 Civic Leaders Fellowship Program are, from left: Casey Wilson, Derek Hunter, Kaitlynn Hewitt, Collin Stipetich, Hayden Blazer, Jackie McDermott, Natalie Marquart, Ashley Grove, Taylor Cunningham. In the second row, from left: Dylan Wilkerson, Megan Cook, Miranda Heitz, Andrea Garrison, Christa Harshberger, Mason Lee, Jordan Miller, Jordan Riggs, Claudia Palmer, Azhiare Goodwin-Rowe, Micaela Connors

CFOV works in partnership with the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation to offer local college students a paid summer internship working at area businesses, nonprofits and government organizations for seven weeks.  Students apply to participate and are chosen through a competitive selection process that includes an independent selection committee.  The Civic Leaders Fellowship Program is designed to enhance personal skills, expose opportunities to find employment in the Ohio Valley after graduation and to expand networking connections with peers, employers and local professionals.

“The Civic Leaders program is an amazing opportunity to gain experience right here in the valley,” shared Hayden Blazer, a second year civic leader student.

Students work Monday-Thursday at their host sites and spend each Friday at the CFOV office for personal and professional development programming and team building activities.  This program provides a collaborative way for employers, nonprofits and foundations to work collectively to improve our region’s potential workforce for the future.

“The Museums of Oglebay Institute participated in the Community Foundation’s program for the first time in 2015 and it was definitely a mutually beneficial experience.  Our intern received a broad range of hands-on experiences that helped her determine her career path and the Museums had much needed assistance at an extremely busy time as we prepared for the First Folio exhibit,” shared Christin Byrum of Oglebay Institue.

In addition, participating students are able to return for internship placements and more specific programming.  This year, there are nine students returning for a second year and one returning for a third.

“The Community Foundation did a great job of offering Friday programming that showed me the many merits of living in the Ohio Valley.  It made me realize how lucky I am to call Wheeling home and I can’t
wait to return for another summer as a Civic Leader,” remarked Jacqueline McDermott.

2016 host sites include: Ohio Valley Medical Center, Family Connections, Wellspring Family Services, Family Court Judge Joyce Chernenko, Wheeling Heritage, King’s Daughters Child Care Center, Premier Bank & Trust, Oglebay Institute Mansion Museum, Main Street Bank, SP Financial Strategies, Gabriel Project, Steptoe & Johnson, News-Register, Beyond Marketing, Wheeling Nailers, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe and Touchstone Research Laboratory.

Funding for the Civic Leaders Fellowship Program is provided by the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, the Schenk Foundation and the Mary Ann Hess Fund of the Community Foundation for the Ohio Valley.  To learn more about CFOV and the Civic Leaders Fellowship Program, please visit www.cfov.org and click the Projects tab.