The Parkersburg Area Community Foundation (PACF) celebrated the successful completion of its tenth year of its Civic Leaders Fellowship Program. A celebratory gathering was recently held at the Parkersburg City Park with members the PACF Board, Civic Leader hosts, initiative sponsors, and Civic Leaders in attendance.

Eighteen students were placed with host employers throughout the PACF service region to gain work experience in their respective fields. Students participated in leadership training on Mondays during the program. More than 75 community members contributed their time to help the students learn about civic engagement, leadership, career options, and nonprofits organizations in our community.

"I've learned so much during my program," said Zoe Pingley, a first year Civic Leader. "I've learned passion, leadership, art, love, hard work, dedication, and so much more. The program was not just a 'summer internship.' It was an opportunity to see and love my community around me and allow me to place myself into some of the most important things it has to offer. I learned so much about my field and future career, but also so much more about myself as a person."

During the seven-week Program, each Civic Leader spent their Mondays engaging with one another, learning about the community's needs and issues, and exploring personal and professional development opportunities. Second-year Civic Leaders spent their Mondays furthering their leadership studies, visiting area nonprofit organizations, assessing community needs, and learning about community grantmaking. The second year Civic Leaders visited many different nonprofit organizations over the course of the summer evaluating where to award $5,000 in grant funds. The following grants were awarded to area nonprofits

Old Man Rivers was awarded $2,500 to support its food pantry. Wood County Society was awarded $2,500 to develop an Emergency Preparedness Plan to help individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities during a national and local emergency.

Students completed the summer inspired to contribute to their communities and more knowledgeable about their fields of interest. To learn more about this year's Civic Leaders and about the program, visit the Foundation's website at