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Twenty students from Appalachian receive SECU Internship Program award

BOONE—Twenty students from Appalachian State University have been selected to participate in a pilot summer internship program being funded by the State Employee Credit Union Foundation (SECU).

Through the SECU Internship Program, State Employees’ Credit Union (SECU) members though the SECU Foundation, will provide Appalachian East Carolina University and UNC Pembroke up to $100,000 to support paid internships for as many as 20 qualifying in-state undergraduates from each university.

The Appalachian students will each receive $5,000 for their work with a regional government or non-profit agency.

Two objectives of the program are to help build capacity for underserved areas and reduce the talent drain from the state’s rural communities. Successful completion of the pilot program could become the model for implementing a future statewide internship program.

The program will provide students with meaningful job experiences through internship assignments focused on local leadership in rural North Carolina communities. By matching their interests and talents, the program will give SECU interns a learning opportunity that will allow them to give back to their community by working on projects with government agencies, non-profits, or private and public businesses in industry sectors, including healthcare, technology, social services, education or marketing, among others.

Cody Clarke, a senior criminal justice major, is one of 20 students from Appalachian in the internship program.

“This scholarship is especially important to me because of my family history in service for the state along with the financial struggles that my family has had,” he said. “My parents have always worked for the state and sacrificed to make sure that I had the necessary items to grow up and go to college. These funds will lift a tremendous financial burden from my family and me.”

Dr. Marilyn Sheerer, SECU Foundation Board member and internship committee chair said, “The SECU Internship Program is a great educational driver that further represents the commitment of SECU members to students’ educational aspirations. These hard-working students will be immersed in a hands-on learning experience that may stimulate an occupational interest and lead to a career in their home county.”

Students from Appalacian participating in the internship program are:

  • Austin Blaise, Watauga County Sheriff’s Office
  • Brooke Brown, Watauga County Courthouse
  • Michael Burroughs, Avery County Sheriff’s Office
  • Caroline Chambers, Appalachian’s Institute for Health and Human Services
  • Cody Clarke, Adult Probation and Parole Office in Morganton
  • Justin English, Boone Police Department
  • Dillon Gentry, Watauga County Sheriff’s Office
  • Taylor Hyatt, Pender County Administrative Offices
  • Lynne Martin, Rape Crisis Center in Catawba County
  • Daniel Myers, Rutherford County Probation Office
  • Hobie Parrish, Rowan County Sheriff’s Office
  • Amber Payne, Watauga County Probation Office
  • Richard Quinn, Gideon Ridge Hospitality, Blowing Rock
  • Kathryn Schmidt, Appalachian’s Lucy Brock Child Development Laboratory Program
  • Kenneth Shadid, Brunswick County District Attorney’s Office
  • Caleb Smith, Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office
  • Stedman Smith, Alexander County Sheriff’s Office
  • Madison Struhs, Moore County Sheriff’s Office
  • Sonia Yancey, Caldwell County Probation and Parole Office
  • Patrisia Zambrano, Conflict Resolution Center in Hildebran

“As a SECU member and the instructor of dozens of student interns in North Carolina, I am so grateful that the foundation has chosen to invest in the professional development of college students as one of its priorities, said Mark D. Bradbury, Ph.D. from Appalachian’s Department of Government and Justice Studies. “This program will make an invaluable contribution to worthy student interns while also benefitting rural and distressed communities throughout the state.”

About SECU and the SECU Foundation

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 almost 78 years. The SECU Foundation, a 501c (3) charitable organization 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, healthcare and human services.