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Top Left: Olivia Oravec, Justin Rovder, Aiden Stuart, Ethan Wingard, JT Durica;  Bottom Left: Adeline Mishler, Kelsey Hunsberger, Alexis Buncich, Nikki Wright, Ayanna Sellers

The Community Foundation for the Alleghenies is proud to announce its newest summer interns for the 2017 Youth Philanthropy Internship.

As of this year, the program has been operational for half a decade thanks to the generous patronage of The Heinz Endowment. YPI enables newly graduated high school seniors to learn about philanthropy while they address community needs. During their 8-week program, interns research and identify programs they want to support, culminating in the allocation of $50,000 in grants. Along the way, students work with civic and business leaders, learn about marketing, and become immersed in the world of nonprofit work and funding.

This summer’s interns have diverse interests, with a wide variety of backgrounds:

Kelsey Hunsberger is the daughter of Daniel and Mariela Hunsberger of the North Star School District in Somerset County. Kelsey is a 2017 graduate of Johnstown Christian School and plans to attend Seton Hill University in the fall for a major in Business Administration and a minor in Graphic Design.

Aiden Stuart is the son of Jessica and Aaron Stuart of Roxbury. Aiden graduated from Greater Johnstown High School, and in the fall he will be attending the University of Pittsburgh for computer engineering. For the past two years, he has been the Editor/Webmaster of Johnstown’s Key Club as well as participating in Johnstown’s musical for four years. Aiden has also been involved in the school’s Maker Space Program. Aiden has interests in technology and computers and is excited to see those passions come to life through his work with the Community Foundation as he aspires to make a difference in his own community.

Adeline Mishler, a Bishop McCort graduate, holds a strong passion for business and journalism. She’ll be pursuing those interests at Penn State University in August, while enrolled in the Division of Undergraduate Studies. In the meantime, by the inspiration of her parents, Erin and Dale Mishler, and through her intensive experience in projects such as DC and New York Journalism Conferences, she aspires to embrace and highlight the unique, positive aspects that already exist within the community.

Ethan Wingard is a recent graduate from Richland High School who also received his associate’s degree from Penn Highlands Community College. His passion for political science and law has driven him to participate in the Mock Trial Institute of Law as well as hold the title of Captain of the Scholastic Quiz team at his high school. Inspired to pursue the internship by his grandmother, Ethan hopes to have a positive impact and to make a connection with the people of the Alleghenies.

Ayanna Sellers was enamored by both the medical field and community service for as long as she remembers. She credits her grandmother for introducing her to both of these passions and for also being her greatest role model. Ayanna has a head start on these passions, with a Licensed Practical Nurse certification acquired prior to graduating from Greater Johnstown High School, and with her involvement in the Youth Philanthropy Internship. In the future, she will be attending Slippery Rock University to study Pre-Dentistry and she also wants to make a positive change in her community by fighting addiction and making it a place to which people want to come.

Nicole Wright is the daughter of Joe and Lori Wright. She is from Summer Hill Township and graduated from Forest Hills High School. She was part of the Outdoor Color Guard, Forensics, and Drama. Nicole helped start the FHHelpingHands program in her town and she was greatly invested in it. She plans to attend Penn Highlands in the fall for her Associate’s Degree, then UPJ to get her secondary degree in English Education. Nicole also plans on getting her mission trip certification from United Methodist Church.

Alexis Buncich, of Davidsville, graduated fifth in her class from Conemaugh Township Area High School and hopes to continue her successful academic career majoring in International Relations at the University of Pittsburgh. While in high school, she served faithfully as Senior Class President and Editor-in-Chief of the school yearbook and newspaper. Alexis was privileged to play the role of Joanne in the Band of Brothers Theatre Company’s recent performance of Godspell, thanks to a six-year acting history in her school’s musicals. She also played a three-year stint on the golf team and has been employed by the Shake Shak near Jennerstown. Her greatest hope is that she can see the people in her community become inspired by the work she’s doing and strive to foster a more cooperative, fulfilled area.

Justin Rovder, son of David and Jeanette Rovder, anxiously awaits the opportunity to share his entrepreneurial spirit with the Youth Philanthropy Internship. A recent Richland High School graduate, Justin intends to study Entrepreneurship and Economics at Babson College in the Spring of 2017. Justin shares a passion for volunteerism and economic growth. Serving as a youth head of Vision 2025 during high school, he is immersed in the surrounding community and committed to growing the sector of local business. Through the Youth Philanthropy Internship, Justin hopes to engage the entire community in new and creative ways, and learn more about the surrounding area.

Go here to find out more about the program.

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