Fellows impacting community: College students return home for local projects

College students return home for local projects

By John Hamilton - jhamilton@wnewsj.com

CLINTON COUNTY — Four Clinton County young adults have spent their summer helping out their home community as this year’s Clinton Community Fellows, part of Energize Clinton County.

Sydni McGee, Bethany Brausch, Ali Dooley, and Ty Snarr have been working with a local organization which sponsors the group, to help the community with their projects and ideas.

This year’s sponsors were the Clinton County Foundation, the Clinton-Massie Business Scholarship, Orange Frazer Press, Wilmington Public Library, HealthFirst for Clinton County, and the Clinton County Regional Planning Commission.

The Clinton Community Fellows was started in 2010 by Energize Clinton County as a way for young adults returning from college for summer vacation to contribute to the city, develop professional skills, and make community connections.

Each of these four has felt the past eight weeks of the 10-week program has helped them realize what’s available in their home county and each has preferred these over a typical summer job.

McGee is a Wilmington High School graduate and a junior at Bowling Green State University majoring in English. She hopes to go into freelance copy editing and is looking at possible technical writing.

She’s been working with Orange Frazer Press on marketing and social media and with the Clinton County Business Advisory Council on strategic planning.

With Orange Frazer, she’s specifically been working on promoting the re-release of their book “1968: The Year That Saved Ohio State Football” which was published 10 years ago.

The book details OSU’s 1968 season, and since it’ll be the 50th anniversary of that season and the 10th anniversary of the book’s release, Orange Frazer will be re-releasing a softcover version of the book.

McGee said she loves working there especially since it’s in her hometown.

“I love the small feel of it,” she said. “It doesn’t feel at all like a business.”

Brausch is a Clinton-Massie High School graduate and a sophomore at the University of Akron majoring in Biomedical Science and with the ultimate goal of becoming a neurologist working with Alzheimer’s treatment. She was the recipient of the Clinton-Massie Business Scholarship.

Brausch has been working on a findings report on an age-friendly plan for the Clinton County Regional Planning Commission.

“We developed a survey and put it on Facebook and we have some printed versions. I’m studying that data and putting together a report on the current status, like strengths and weaknesses, what can be worked on and what can be more age-friendly,” she said.

Brausch said this experience has really opened her eyes to parts of the community she didn’t know much about.

She, along with co-Fellow Ty Snarr, have been working on projects with three nonprofits — the Wilmington Hope House, The Nest Recovery Homes, and the mission of Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA). They’ve been helping them move their filing system onto Google drive.

Brausch said it wasn’t what she was expecting and she learned things she never thought would be important, like marketing.

“If I open my own practice one day, that’s going to be really important,” she said.

Along with his projects with Brausch, Snarr has been working with the Wilmington Public Library on discovering ways to digitize their microfilm collection. He is a Wilmington High School graduate and a junior at Valparaiso University majoring in Public Health with hopes of going into a career in emergency preparedness or epidemiology.

“This has made me realize how diligent and determined a lot of the people in the county are to make it a better place regardless of the resources,” he said.

Ali Dooley, a Wilmington High School graduate and a sophomore majoring in Architecture at the University of Cincinnati, has been working with the Village of Sabina on an economic development plan. She’s also been working on streamlining resources for the businesses in the historic downtown for Main Street Wilmington.

She said the past eight weeks have been giving her a different viewpoint of Clinton County, specifically from a professional point of view.

“I think that’s a great experience to have,” she said. “I feel like I’m really using things I learned in school.”

On Thursday morning, the group will give a final presentation of their projects at the Hampton Inn on Holiday Drive and there will be an open house reception on Tuesday, Aug.7 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Clinton County Chamber of Commerce, 100 W. Main St.

Energize co-founder and Clinton County Regional Planning Commissioner Taylor Stuckert said it’s great to see another generation of Clinton Countians take part in this.

“They’re aspiring, they’re hard-working, and they want to make an impact at home,” said Stuckert.

College students return home for local projects

By John Hamilton


Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574

Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574