Wednesday November 18, 2015

A Special Donation

Sarah Devine had the ambition and the talent to secure a coveted internship in the Ohio Statehouse as a junior at the University of Dayton. What she didn’t have was the means to stay in Ohio over the summer, away from her hometown of Pittsburgh.

The University of Dayton Statehouse Civic Scholars Program made it possible. In the five years since the program began, it has provided housing and living stipends to 60 University students interning in Columbus.

Now, a $50,000 donation from the AT&T Foundation promises to keep the program running for years to come. The gift brings the foundation’s total contribution to the program to more than $100,000. The check was presented during a ceremony at the Statehouse Wednesday.

“Support from business leaders like AT&T is opening new public service horizons for college students, helping to retain talented young persons in Ohio and assuring a strong flow of well-trained workers for state government,” said former Gov. Bob Taft, distinguished research associate at the University.

The event on Wednesday featured remarks from Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives Cliff Rosenberger.

“It’s important we keep our best and brightest in Ohio and this caucus has remained committed to ensuring that we encourage and support opportunities in which students can receive on-the-job training,” Speaker Rosenberger said. “The University of Dayton Statehouse Civic Scholars Program provides students interested in state government a chance to learn more about this great institution.”

The program selects 12 students each summer for eight-week internships in key legislative and statewide offices. Last year's Scholars worked for the governor, attorney general, secretary of state, speaker of the house and the Office of Budget and Management, among others. Upon their graduation, at least 15 graduates have secured paid employment in and around the Statehouse.

"Equipping our students to graduate ready for the workforce is an important issue for students, our company and our country,” said Adam Grzybicki, president of AT&T Ohio. "Without key college and career readiness skills, students miss out on significant work and life opportunities. Our company and every American business needs an educated workforce to compete globally, and we are thrilled to partner with the University of Dayton's Statehouse Civic Scholars Program."

Devine, who double majored in political science and communications, credits her internship with helping her to land a job with the Ohio Gov. John Kasich administration. The opportunity allowed her to stay in Ohio after graduation, she said.

“It seemed like there was a lot more opportunity for me, and a lot of that was because of the internship and the connections I had here,” she said.

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