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Kenyon Internship Program Bolstered by Knox County Foundation Grant

GAMBIER, Ohio — Kenyon College has received a two-year grant of $33,000 from the Knox County Foundation to further strengthen relationships between students and the local community in which they reside. The grant will be used to fund student internships with Knox County non-profit organizations through the Kenyon Community Internship Program.

“The Foundation is pleased to support the Kenyon Community Internship Program over the next two years,” said Lisa Lloyd, program director at the Knox County Foundation. “We have seen the success of the program over the past few years and are excited to see it grow and expand in the years to come.”

The Kenyon Community Internship Program (KCIP) — coordinated through a partnership between Kenyon’s Career Development Office and the Office for Community Partnerships — was established in 2017 to help Knox County nonprofits, government agencies, and businesses achieve strategic objectives while also enabling Kenyon students to build relationships in the community as they gain valuable professional experience and new perspectives on the place they call home for four years. Through their internship experiences, students have come to appreciate the power to create change in local communities and the advantages of working in small civic organizations. The nonprofit sector is one of the top fields that Kenyon graduates choose for a career, according to Dean for Career Development Lee Schott.

“These internships provide Kenyon students with experiential opportunities to learn and apply transferable work skills to projects that have an impact in our community,” said Schott. “The internships also provide our community partners with additional staff support to achieve important goals related to their organizational missions.”

Jamie Lyn Smith-Fletcher, development and writing program manager at the Public Library of Mount Vernon and Knox County, experienced firsthand the significant impact of the internship program at her organization. “The Library has engaged the skills of six interns in two high-profile, grant-funded projects,” said Smith-Fletcher. “It would be impossible for me to implement large-scale projects like this without the support of Kenyon interns.”

The Knox County Foundation grant will help sustain the momentum KCIP has gained since its inception, having placed 107 interns with 37 unique partners. The College plans to further expand the program across Knox County to help enhance the quality of life for children, families, victims of abuse, the elderly, and all members of the community, with particular attention paid to developing new internships at agencies offering direct service to county residents. 

“KCIP is one of the many ways the Office for Community Partnerships helps create, nurture, and sustain connections, collaborations, and engagement between Kenyon and the Knox County community,” said Jan Thomas, director and senior advisor for community relations at the College. “This grant will enable Kenyon to provide even more opportunities for students and local nonprofits to work together to help meet the needs of Knox County and its residents.”

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About Kenyon College: Founded in 1824, Kenyon is the oldest private college in Ohio and the first institution in the U.S. to implement the model of faculty members serving as academic advisors. With a curriculum rooted in the liberal arts, Kenyon students and faculty aspire to a nuanced understanding of the world and all who inhabit it. Kenyon is a top producer of Fulbright Fellows and ranks second among Division III institutions for fostering NCAA Postgraduate Scholars. Home to the Kenyon Review, one of the nation’s most esteemed literary magazines, Kenyon celebrates a rich literary tradition that promotes writing across academic disciplines. 

About Kenyon Community Internship Program: The Community Internship Program affords Kenyon students the valuable opportunity to gain meaningful work experience during the academic year, and engage in learning with the greater Knox County community. Area employers host Kenyon students for structured internships for 5-10 hours per week during the academic year, having students take on professional projects that help to develop the skills needed to be successful at Kenyon and beyond. Community partners benefit from student ideas and creativity while gaining support on key operations.

About the Knox County Foundation: The Knox County Foundation is a collection of individual philanthropic funds established by Knox County residents for a wide variety of charitable purposes. Their mission includes: improving the quality of life in Knox County through charitable giving; providing a vehicle for donors of varied interests to support charitable and community activities; assessing and responding to emerging and changing community needs in the fields of: education, youth services, recreation, arts and culture, social services, civic and community development; developing a permanent endowment for the community; and to serve as a catalyst for the initiative of vital projects.

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