Tuesday, July 2, 2013 —
RALEIGH -- Forty-seven college students are being steeped in the workings of their counties under a new summer internship program.
The Public Service Internship Program is designed to foster a new generation of community leaders in North Carolina's rural counties. The interns, working in their home counties, will rotate among different county departments to better understand the issues their communities face. Each student is paired with a local government mentor.
The program is sponsored by the by the State Employees' Credit Union Foundation and administered by the N.C. Rural Economic Development Center in cooperation with county governments.
"These interns not only will be giving back to their communities in the short term, but will learn what is needed to improve the long-term economic future of North Carolina’s rural communities,” said Jo Anne Sanford, a member of the SECU Foundation Board of Directors.
The interns and their mentors attended an orientation session last month that included a bus tour to study innovative rural communities. Each intern will receive a $2,500 stipend for 160 hours of work.
The interns are rising sophomores or juniors at one of the 16 campuses of the University of North Carolina System or are enrolled in a two-year college program of one of North Carolina's 58 community colleges.
"We are impressed with the quality of these students and with their desire to serve their home communities," said Billy Ray Hall, Rural Center president. "We couldn't ask for better partners to ensure a strong and vibrant rural North Carolina."
Participants of the SECU Public Service Internship Program:
Abby Anundson (Montgomery County)
Abby Anundson attends the University of North Carolina at Wilmington where she is pursuing a film studies degree. She completed college transfer courses at Montgomery Community College.
Daniel Allen (Cleveland County)
Daniel Allen attends the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and is majoring in finance with a concentration in risk management and insurance.
Kaila Britt (Hertford County)
Kaila Britt of Ahoskie attends North Carolina Central University where she majors in accounting.
Chequita Brooks (Ashe County)
Chequita Brooks is pursuing a degree in chemistry with a minor in biology at Western Carolina University.
Dakota Crapps (Burke County)
Dakota Crapps received her associate's degree from Caldwell Community College in May and plans to study social work at Appalachian State University.
Ruthie Davis (Warren County)
Ruthie Davis recently graduated from Vance-Granville Community College with an associate's degree in business administration and in July will receive her associate's degree in accounting. She will continue her education this fall by studying marketing at Johnson & Wales University.
Shannon Dexter (Madison County)
Shannon Dexter recently earned her associate's degree from Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College and will attend N.C. State University in the fall to study horticulture and biology.
Jami Eckemoff (Caswell County)
Jami Eckemoff recently graduated from Piedmont Community College and will attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the fall. She plans to major in business administration.
Susie Fielden (Haywood County)
Susie Fielden is enrolled in the entrepreneurship program at Haywood Community College and plans to earn a degree in entrepreneurship at Western Carolina University. She also holds an associate's degree in recreational leadership and a bachelor's degree in therapeutic recreation.
Shane Forbes (McDowell County)
Shane Forbes attends McDowell Technical Community College and plans to transfer to a four-year university.
Marcus Graham (Beaufort County)
Marcus Graham attends Beaufort County Community College, where he is pursuing a degree in criminal justice. He plans to transfer to a university to obtain a bachelor’s degree and then to attend law school.
Clarrissa Greene (Onslow County)
Clarrissa Greene attends the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She is an English major and plans to attend law school after graduation.
Joshua Griffin (Pitt County)
Joshua Griffin attends East Carolina University where he majors in biology and political science and minors in indigenous people of the Americas.
Erin Haley (Stanly County)
Erin Haley attends the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where she is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in music education.
Shakeel Harris (Lee County)
Shakeel Harris attends the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he is majoring in political science. He plans to attend law school. (Harris began his internship early and has already concluded his county service.)
Gavin Harrison (Martin County)
Gavin Harrison is a Park Scholar at N.C. State University and plans to major in industrial engineering.
Gray Harrison (Currituck County)
Gray Harrison, a military veteran, attends Elizabeth City State University. Deployed twice to Afghanistan, he was an aviation search-and-rescue swimmer and door gunner.
Augaly Kiedy (Jackson County)
Augaly Kiedy, a native of the Democratic Republic of Congo, is a junior at Western Carolina University, where she is studying political science and international studies. After graduation she plans to serve in the Peace Corps and then attend law school.
Ravyn Kingsberry (Franklin County)
Ravyn Kingsberry attends the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where she is a Guarantee Scholar. She is a communications major with plans for a career in human resources.
Anna Lewis (Nash County)
Anna Lewis is pursuing a double major in social work and psychology in the Honors College at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. She plans to pursue a doctorate in clinical psychology.
Barika Lyons (Granville County)
Barika Lyons is on track to earn an associate’s degree in criminal justice at Vance-Granville Community College.
Sarah Mack (Union County)
Sarah Mack attends the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where she is working toward a degree in economics.
Byron Mason (Vance County)
Byron Mason attends the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where he majors in economics with a concentration in finance.
Allishia Merservey (Rutherford County)
Allishia Merservey attends Davidson County Community College and plans to transfer to a university to study elementary teaching.
Rebecca Miller (Person County)
Rebecca Miller is completing work at Piedmont Community College and this fall will attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to study English and history. She later plans to enter medical school.
Alicia Mills (Halifax County)
Alicia Mills attends the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, where she is pursuing a double major in political science and criminology and a double minor in international affairs and leadership studies. After graduation, she plans to attend law school.
Justin Moore (Duplin County)
Justin Moore attends the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, where he majors in business administration with a concentration in accounting. He is a graduate of James Sprunt Community College.
Erik Oxendine (Robeson County)
Erik Oxendine attends Robeson Community College in Lumberton, where he is pursuing a degree in business administration. Oxendine will be president of the student government association for the upcoming school year.
Kent Pittman (Cartaret County)
Kent Pittman attends East Carolina University where he is pursuing a bachelor's degree in communication with a concentration in journalism.
Shea Poage (Scotland County)
Shea Poage attends Appalachian State University and is in the Appalachian State Honors College. She is majoring in appropriate technology, which focuses on implementing sustainable technology in communities.
Jake Reavis (Davie County)
Jake Reavis attends Appalachian State University and is pursuing a degree in criminal justice. He plans to attend law school after graduation.
Allyson Rice (Pamlico County)
Allyson Rice is studying environmental science management and technology at Pamlico Community College.
Terri Scotton (Moore County)
Terri Scotton recently graduated with honors from Montgomery Community College with a major in human services and will attend Gardner Webb University this fall.
Anna Shearouse (Edgecombe County)
Anna Shearouse is studying historic preservation technology at Edgecombe Community College. She also holds a bachelor's degree in art history from Berry College and a master's in library science from North Carolina Central University.
Jelaina Shipman (Bladen County)
Jelaina Shipman attends North Carolina Central University where she is pursuing a double major in psychology and criminal justice.
Catherine Shumak (Surry County)
Catherine Shumak attends the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she is in the honors program and studies environmental science.
Katie Stanley (Macon County)
Katie Stanley is a recent graduate of Southwestern Community College and will attend Western Carolina University this fall.
Kelly Stewart (Harnett County)
Kelly Stewart attends the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she is pursuing a double major in political science and communications with a minor in history.
Donald Sutton (Wayne County)
Donald Sutton attends Wayne Community College and plans later to pursue a four-year degree in psychology and musical theater.
Zachary Triplett (Wilkes County)
Zachary Triplett, a recent graduate of Wilkes Community College, is enrolled at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for the fall semester. He plans to obtain a bachelor's in biology before applying to medical school.
Eric Turner (Johnston County)
Eric Turner attends Johnston Community College and plans to transfer after graduation in the fall to Mount Olive University. At Mount Olive, he will major in information systems management.
John Watts (Columbus County)
John Watts recently graduated from Southeastern Community College with an associate's degree in computer information technology. He will attend the University of North Carolina at Wilmington in the fall to pursue a degree in computer science.
Donte Weston (Wilson County)
Donte Weston attends Winston-Salem State University, where he is working on a double major in accounting and management information systems.
Donald Frank White (Northampton County)
Donald Frank White received his associate's degree in networking technologies from Halifax Community College and is working on an associate's degree in computer information technology.
Frank Williams (Greene County)
Frank Williams of Snow Hill attends Greene Early College High School and is pursuing a degree in criminal justice and political science. Williams plans to attend law school after finishing his undergraduate degree.
Conley Winslow (Perquimans County)
Conley Winslow attends the College of the Albemarle in Elizabeth City. She is studying business administration.
Jessica Wyatt (Alleghany County)
Jessica Wyatt recently graduated from Wilkes Community College and will attend the University of North Carolina at Charlotte this fall. She plans to major in computer science.
A not-for-profit financial cooperative owned by its members, SECU has been providing employees of the State of North Carolina and their families with consumer financial services for over 75 years. With 1.8 million members, SECU provides services through 248 branch offices, 1,100 ATMs, 24/7 Contact Centers and a website. The SECU Foundation, a 501(c)3 charitable organization funded solely by funded solely by the contributions of SECU members, promotes local community development in North Carolina primarily through high impact projects in the areas of housing, education, health care and human services.
The N.C. Rural Economic Development Center is a private, nonprofit organization whose mission is to develop sound economic strategies that improve the quality of life in rural North Carolina, with a special focus on individuals with low to moderate incomes and communities with limited resources. The center operates a multifaceted program that includes conducting research into rural issues; testing promising rural development strategies; advocating for policy and program innovations; and building the productive capacity of rural leaders, entrepreneurs and community organizations.