News

UWAC Intern Reflection: Not a “Goodbye” but a “See You Later”

tori-ford-photoOver the past 8 weeks, I have spent my Elon Human Services Studies Internship placement working under the Director of Community Impact at UWAC, April Durr. Working closely with April has provided me with insight into the power of collaboration and community support. As a senior Human Services Studies major at Elon University, I have studied the strengths, disparities and opportunities prevalent in Alamance County over the course of 3 years. It has been a valuable and rewarding experience to take this knowledge and apply it to the positive and tangible work in the community through UWAC’s strategic plan and various initiatives. This work has included, updating UWAC’s Feeding the Hungry Calendar, a resource for those facing food insecurity, helping to plan and execute the Community Career Fair focusing on increasing employment in Alamance County, coordinating with community partners to open the 3rd StoryWalk in the county focusing on youth literacy rates and health and much more. My internship with UWAC has been nothing short of a valuable and empowering experience. Whether it’s through volunteering, donating, or advocating, I know that my time with UWAC is not a “goodbye” but a “see you later”.

In conjunction with this internship, I completed research for my senior Capstone course. My research question was sparked by the ongoing conversation in the community regarding keeping Elon alumni talent local within Alamance County. My question, “What can Alamance County do to attract more young professionals and Elon graduates to live, work and play in the community?” has drawn much interest in hopes of increasing the amount of millennials in the county and utilizing the talent of Elon graduates to build wealth and prosperity in the community. In addition to looking at what current literature says, two different surveys were sent out, one to Elon graduates who currently work or live in Alamance County and one to current Elon seniors. The results included the priority for quality job opportunities, especially in Business and Communications (Elon’s top 2 majors), an increase in diversity and a more prevalent intellectual climate, more options for modern housing, an increase in the prevalence of single young professionals and a want for a thriving downtown with on-going social activities. Action plans are in the beginning stages regarding this feedback and research. If you would like to be apart of this discussion and new initiative or would like the full results from the surveys please contact me at vford@elon.edu.