Ohio University Chillicothe students, Mariah Howell and Madison Stant, attended the 5th Annual Propel Ohio Collegiate Leadership Summit, which was held at Bowling Green State University on Nov. 15, 2019.
Propel Ohio is a leadership program that promotes civic engagement and inspires undergraduate students to grow into civic leaders in Ohio. Participants learned how to directly tackle challenges facing their own communities.
The event began with panel discussions from Senator Sherrod Brown, Connie Schultz, Katy Crosby, Ruth Chang, and Richie Webber. Monica Ramirez, founder of Justice for Migrant Women, was the keynote speaker. Diana Patton was also a speaker for the event.
The last portion of the day consisted of breakout sessions in which the students were able to network with other professionals and explore career opportunities in Northern Ohio.
Both Howell and Stant choose to attend the Summit because of the importance of civic engagement.
Howell remarked, “I thoroughly enjoyed attending the summit; I feel like I got exposed to a large variety of topics. Every speaker brought something unique to the experience and each one said something that resonated with me.”
Howell, a Communication Studies major, plans to graduate this month. She is the student speaker at the campus’s Fall Graduation Reception, which will take place on Dec. 12, 2019.
Stant, a returning participant, also shared her experience. She commented, “I took the opportunity to attend Propel for the second year because I see it as continuing education. With the topics and speakers being different every year, there is always something to learn and new resources to discover.”
Stant, an Applied Management major who is also minoring in Communications, plans to graduate this coming spring semester in May 2020. She hopes to find ways in which she can help change the world and positively impact her community.
Stant continued, “In particular, I learned that my voice needs to be heard and that we, as a community, need to intentionally listen to what others have to say. I also learned that change starts with me, and with that, I need to discover the kind of leader that I want to be in the world.”
While attending Propel, Howell and Stant crossed paths with fellow Bobcat, Nicholas Burge, an Early Childhood Education major at the Ohio University Southern campus. Burge also felt that the event was a worthwhile endeavor.
“I have a passion for volunteering and getting involved in the community, so I attended Propel so that I could learn more ways to engage my community,” Burge shared. “The event has helped me with my networking skills and has given me many creative ideas to experiment with in the classroom.”
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.
Howell remarked, “I would definitely encourage other students to attend the summit, or other similar events. Events like Propel, push you out of your comfort zone and encourage you to critically think about topics. By putting in the extra effort to think deeper, you not only gain experience for the professional world, but you also become a better person. The more you take the time to learn about diverse subjects and topics, the more rounded you become in your opinions of the world.”
Similarly, Stant shared, “I encourage students to look into extracurricular activities. Not only does it enhance the college experience and help students develop the skills and experiences needed to support their future career, but it is also something that can be added to a resume. Employers like to see these things.”
Applications for Propel are available every fall semester and students in all discipline are encouraged to apply. Information regarding next year’s Summit should be published via the campus newsletter and website.