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2018 News Propel Ohio
October 29, 2018 : Chillicothe students use Propel Ohio to nurture future careers


Three Ohio University Chillicothe students attended the fourth-annual Propel Ohio: Collegiate Leadership Summit at Cleveland State University on Oct. 12, 2018. Propel Ohio is a leadership program that promotes civic engagement and inspires undergraduate students to grow into civic leaders in Ohio.


This year’s Summit featured childhood poverty and how college students can help tackle the issue as well as food security, inequities in education, and homelessness in Ohio communities. Topics of the Summit change yearly.


Madison Stant, a junior in the Applied Management program who’s also minoring in Communications, and Erica Turner, a Social Work student who plans to graduate in May 2019, shared their experiences.


Stant remarked, “As a student who tries to absorb every bit of college, by attending college events and other activities such as this, Propel is an event that will really benefit my future. It was nice taking a break from life to focus on the issues of the world.”


Turner had a similar take on the Summit. “I had the honor of meeting like-minded people who were just as engaged in making a difference not only in their communities, but in the nation,” she commented. “I even had meaningful conversations with people who had different views than myself and we were still able to come up with ideas and new perspectives.”


The Summit started off with speeches from Senator Brown and Senator Portman as well as several other experts in their fields who interact with those in poverty, children in poverty, educators, and healthcare providers. The keynote speaker, Matthew Desmond, a professor in Sociology at Princeton University and Pulitzer prize-winning author of Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, presented findings from his research and book. Desmond emphasized that poverty is an active issue for many families in the United States.


After lunch, the group broke out into three sessions in which they rotated in groups. The session topics were: food insecurity and examples of how organizations can fight the issue; education and what educators can do for children in poverty to make sure they are successful; and employment and internship opportunities at local and state agencies to provide better information to communities.


Both Stant and Turner stated that they choose to attend the Summit to help make a change in their communities.


Turner remarked, “As someone who began pursuing a social work degree because of a desire to promote the well-being of those marginalized the most by society, it only made sense to pursue this opportunity. This conference helped me by not only showing me what was working in other communities to tackle the issue of poverty, but also by allowing me to connect with other people and agencies who are fighting that same fight. One of my main interests in social work is being able to create and reform social policy, and this summit helped me to learn skills and ideas to fuel that.”


Similarly, Stant shared, “The Summit benefited me greatly. As a child educator, I need to be aware of the trials that children face so that I can understand how they perform and behave. Not only did the Summit do that, but it also taught me how to recognize resilient children so that I can help them rise above their circumstances and become what they want to be.”


As an event that focuses on inspiring undergraduate students to grow into civic leaders, the event is intended for any college student. Extracurricular activities such as this not only boost the college experience and embrace education, but they also enhance resumes and graduate school applications.


Turner shared, “Engagement in events like these may seem trivial, but they can truly be worthwhile when you take advantage of the information presented and utilize it in your life and the lives of others. Anyone can make a difference, no matter how small. A positive change made in one person’s life is enough to encourage and facilitate positive change across the lives of many others.”


Information regarding future Summits will be published via the campus newsletter and website.