WILMINGTON — While this year’s Clinton Community Fellows group is smaller than usual, they’re still able to have an impact on the community and to learn from the experience.
The summer program wasn’t able to host the Fellows program last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but they were able to bring in two county grads to offer help in the community.
The 10-week fellowship program provides “young leaders in Clinton County, Ohio the opportunity to develop valuable skills and experience in a rural, small-city environment. The program recruits and matches young, locally connected talent with local businesses that have an expressed interest in implementing innovative business development strategies and providing professional opportunities to the fellows,” according to clintoncommunityfellows.org .
A 2020 Wilmington graduate, Sophia Agee, and 2019 Clinton-Massie grad Emily Brausch found out about the program through their own connections. Agee discovered it from her mother, who encouraged her to take part in it. Brausch, who had a scholarship with the Clinton County Foundation, was told by them this would be a good opportunity for her.
Brausch has been helping with the Wilmington-Clinton County Chamber of Commerce’s Buy Local First campaign, updating training materials, and working with a committee to see what workforce struggles the area deals with.
Agee is working with the Regional Planning Commission and the 2040 plan, primarily ensuring that more citizens are aware of it and its purpose. She’s also assisting Energize Clinton County and their Neighbors for Neighbors program.
“It’s a lot of independence,” said Brausch. “We have a lot of guidance … but it’s also a great opportunity to take creative liberty and create your own schedule.
Agee feels similar about her experience.
“We’re learning how to be independent with having that business opportunity,” said Agee.
Along with better communication skills and making connections, Brausch said she’s also learning how to be more flexible.
“I usually like to keep to a schedule, but this program has been teaching me to go with the flow and be more flexible,” said Brausch.
Outside of better business or work practices, the group hopes to grow a stronger connection to the community.
“I know I go to school that’s another state away (Ball State University in Indiana), but just getting more business opportunities and a greater connection to the community is what I hope to get,” said Agee.
Brausch added she wanted to get some “hands-on experience” so she could know what it’s like to work with a business.
Both would recommend becoming a Clinton County Fellow for anyone given the opportunity. For more information about the program and how to apply, visit clintoncommunityfellows.org .
Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574