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 major donation from Dayton Power and Light promises to keep the program running for years to come.

Dayton Power and Light gave $50,000 to benefit the Civic Scholars and DC Flyers, a summer internship program in Washington, D.C., for honors students. The donation brings the total contribution from DP&L to $90,000.

“Support from business leaders like DP&L 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.

“Dayton Power and Light understands the importance and the positive image our community gains by having our students actively learn and participate in the state political process,” said Tom Raga, president and CEO of Dayton Power and Light. “The University of Dayton Civic Scholars Program engages students directly in state government and immerses them in a rich experience working with our state’s leaders.  Civic Scholars program shows off our talented students, exposes them to the opportunities of governing, and builds advocates for the Miami Valley. It is our hope that the Civic Scholars experience will help develop these students into the next generation of community leaders.”

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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