More than two dozen high school students will work in community economic development organizations around this state this summer thanks to the N.C. Community Development Initiative’s 2012 Summer Youth Leadership Program.
The program kicked off its fifth year June 18-19 with a two-day orientation in Raleigh for the 27 youth interns from 18 N.C. counties who were selected to participate.
“This year’s class of student leaders is high energy and ready to make a difference in the world,” said Initiative program associate Kimberly Askew, who directs the youth program. “Our goal is to give them the knowledge, perspective and skills they need to do that.”
The intensive eight-week program places high school students in internships in high-performing organizations in their communities to complete a project in community economic development and learn workplace and leadership skills.
Host organizations provide projects that give interns the opportunity to lead and grow as individuals. Interns come together four times during the eight weeks for Initiative-hosted seminars and workshops on communication and service leadership topics.
The orientation included sessions on leadership skills and fiscal responsibility and introduced students to successful community leaders.
Jasmine Bonola, an intern from Randolph County, said: “I was inspired a lot by the women that came here and spoke about their lives and how far they’ve come. They made a difference, and I want to make a difference like they have.”
The youth program is part of the Initiative’s long-term strategy to develop state leaders who understand the unique needs of low-income communities and can help strengthen their economies.
“The Summer Youth Leadership Program teaches these young people about leadership, the importance of helping your community and the strategies that nonprofits use to improve local economies,” Askew said.
The 2012 Summer Youth Leadership Program participants are listed below with their home counties and placements:
Shaquandra Cherry, Generations Community Credit Union
Maegan Barber, Cleveland County Community Development Corp.
Zachariah Grant, Cleveland County Community Development Corp.
Amber Williams, Center for Economic Empowerment & Development
Wendy Alvarado, Lexington Housing Community Development Corp.
Dakari Brown, Generations Community Credit Union
DeMarcus Boone, N.C. Institute of Minority Economic Development
Champagne Johnson, N.C. Institute of Minority Economic Development
Myles Jones, N.C. Institute of Minority Economic Development
Nathan Speas, Goler Community Development Corp.
Kendall Faulk, Unity Builders Inc.
Asia Williams, Brick Capital Community Development Corp.
Marguerite van der Vorst, The Center for Rural Health Innovation
Bruce Morton, Opportunities Industrialization Center
Giordan Rose, EmPOWERment Inc.
Taravia McLawhorn, Self-Help Credit Union
Jasmine Bonola, Randolph County Economic Development Corp. and Randolph County Tourism Development Authority
Roberto Castro, Robeson County Community Development Corp.
Krystin Woodell, Lumbee Guaranty Bank
Brittney Hawkins, Warren Family Institute
Jamal Williams, Generations Community Credit Union
Annesty Bethea, Passage Home Inc.
Samuel Gross, Passage Home Inc.
Chelsea Love, N.C. Association of Community Development Corporations
Andrew Shiver, Millionaires in Training
Patrick Minor, Warren Family Institute
Aaliyah Tate, Rebuilding Broken Places Community Development Corp.
For more information on the Summer Youth Leadership Program, visit http://ncinitiative.org/leadership-development/youth or contact Askew at (919) 835-6072, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The N.C. Community Development Initiative leads North Carolina’s collaborative community economic development effort, driving innovation, investment and action to create prosperous, sustainable communities. For more information, visit www.ncinitiative.org.