The Ohio Valley prides itself on its community involvement, and the Community Foundation for the Ohio Valley is doing just that through its Community Leadership Internship Program.  

This program, designed for college students, works to showcase the opportunities available right in the Ohio Valley by pairing them with paid internships, professional and personal development, and networking opportunities in the area.  

Program Officer, Debbie Stanton, says that students must reside in Hancock, Brooke, Ohio, Tyler or Wetzel County in West Virginia in order to fulfill the program’s mission. 

“It’s work here, be here, live here. We want our young folks to stay here after graduation. We’re losing too many. And so, this program was designed to get the folks into the organizations and businesses that they wish to pursue after graduation and network and get to know folks and professionals in the area so that they can feel connected and feel like they can come back. They can be successful. They can work here, be here and live here.” 

Debbie Stanton – Program Officer for the Community Foundation for the Ohio Valley

All program expenses and salaries are paid for through donations and sponsors for students like Rachel, an intern with Health Right, who has aspirations of one day working in healthcare in the Ohio Valley. 

“I value family a lot and this is where my family is from. I don’t really have anyone who lives outside the Ohio Valley, so it was really important to me after school to be able to come back here, but I wasn’t really aware of all the opportunities in this general area. I know Pittsburgh has a lot of stuff, but I wasn’t really aware of anything in the Wheeling area, so it’s been good to see the kind of opportunities that are around – not just for professional, but for recreation and that sort of stuff, as well.”

Rachel Barnett – CLIP Intern at Wheeling Health Right

After the pandemic, this program is back for 2022 and includes 14 students. This makes over 90 students total since its inception in 2013. 

Hands-on work is what students crave outside of the classroom, and Giulio Gentile, a CLIP student interning at Touchstone, says that his experience has enhanced his views on engineering. 

“I’ve been testing some materials, learning to use a couple of the new machines I’ve never used before. I actually did a little bit of help with some proposal writing for a new project that they’re working on. That was cool to see that technical side of engineering that you usually don’t see in school.” 

Giulio Gentile – CLIP Intern for Touchstone Research Laboratory

The Community Foundation of the Ohio Valley does not stop at placing students. Every Friday, students spend their time at the CFOV office for professional development programming and team building activities, and Michael Borkoski says that this has been a fun and beneficial aspect of the program. 

“I’ve really enjoyed that aspect of the program and it does a great job of showcasing what’s available and what people around here are up to and what they’ve accomplished.” 

Michael Borkoski – CLIP Intern for Touchstone Research Laboratory

Applications for next year will be opening in December, and the Community Foundation for the Ohio Valley encourages any college student living in the Ohio Valley to apply on their website.