WILMINGTON — Three college students are giving back to a community that has given them a lot.
Lindsey Murphy, Ariana Riccardi and Alex Hudson are spending their summer working with various businesses and organizations on projects through the Clinton Community Fellows program.
The 10-week fellowship program helps mold young leaders in the county by giving them the opportunity to develop valuable skills and experience in a rural as well as a small-city environment.
The three main goals of the program are to: provide real, professional experiences for young professionals; extend the opportunity for local businesses/organizations to receive project support and capacity from capable young professionals; and help attract and retain young professionals in Clinton County by strengthening professional networks with them and local businesses.
Murphy, a junior at Bowling Green State University, is working with Age Friendly Clinton County Regional-Planning, Papsy’s Place and Lil’ Traders with their marketing.
Riccardi, a junior at Wilmington College, is doing marketing for the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) program and working with the Convention and Visitors Bureau. With CASA, she’s teaching them how to use Google Docs.
Hudson, a junior at Ohio Northern University, is helping develop a self-guided nature trail with Friends Caring for Cowan Lake State Park and is working with the Clinton County Historical Society on marketing.
“One of the things the Fellows really pushes is giving them (the businesses and organizations) tools they can utilize even when we’re gone,” said Murphy, a Wilmington native.
Riccardi, originally from Lancaster, said engaging with the community and other businesses, helping them find strategies, how to market to different groups and helping create standard operating procedures are among the helpful attributes that benefit them and their matches.
Hudson added he believes that they also add a youthful perspective which contributes to the community.
“The youth in this county is very important to the area,” said Hudson, a Clinton-Massie grad. “Just seeing that youthful flair can help draw the public in and people their age in.”
Youthful perspective is something all three believe contributes to their projects, particularly their prowess with technolog.
“Everyone’s like, ‘Oh the younger generation is so obsessed with technology’, but I think, business-wise, a lot of the technology can help organize stuff better and teach people things, mainly the different tools and technology that can be used later on,” said Murphy.
Hudson added, “You’ve also got to think about how to draw them in and market to them. If you’re able to do that, that can help drum up business, help create word-of-mouth, and make word spread about your business.”
With her specific projects, Riccardi said that the technological aspect of how to file things online as well as connecting with other businesses online, creating websites, and marketing to the younger generation contribute greatly.
“Knowing how to pull in that crowd in and what things they would like when it comes to certain events in the community, as well as how to communicate with the college and how to co-coordinate/co-host events on campus,” said Riccardi.
“Even though we’re going in to help them, they also help teach us valuable aspects as well,” said Murphy.
“Growing up in a smaller community, they help raise us. This is where we grew up, where we learned everything. It just feels right to come back and help them out in any way we can,” said Hudson.
“We’re helping them, but obviously, they’re helping us as well with making business connections and strategies,” said Riccardi. “This community has given me so much; not being from here, I’ve had a lot of opportunities through Wilmington College. That aspect of coming back into the community and giving back to what’s given to me so much, it’s nice.”
Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574