Williamson, WV - Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College recently received a generous donation of $40,000 compliments of Cotiga Development Company as an ongoing commitment to provide scholarships for students in the Tug Valley area. The company is also the sponsor of the Appalachian Leadership Academy, Cotiga Chapter based at the Williamson Campus of Southern.
Cotiga continues to assist students in completing their college education close to home by attending Southern in an effort to grow leaders in southern West Virginia and eastern Kentucky. The Appalachian Leadership Academy will prove to be an integral component to the success of future business and government leaders.
"Cotiga has been a long-time, committed partner to providing Tug Valley area students with the opportunity to continue their education at Southern. This is another chapter in our relationship with Cotiga that will benefit students for years to come," said President Joanne Jaeger Tomblin.
The four fellows who were inducted last fall into the academy recently met with representatives from Cotiga, Southern and the ALA Board of Directors to share stories about their first year experiences and the leadership skills they have acquired as a result of participating in the program. Now in their second year, Shannon Carbello of Delbarton, Kevin Whitt of Varney, Rita White of Delbarton, and Dee Dee Williams of Crum, are helping recruit applicants for this year's academy. Each one said they are becoming more confident and are learning each day what it takes to be a good leader.
"The leadership academy has been a great experience for me and I am becoming more comfortable with becoming a leader," Williams said.
Those who are selected as fellows this year will also receive a full scholarship to pay for tuition, fees and books, according to Pauline Sturgill, director of the Appalachian Leadership Academy at Southern. Sturgill is conducting interest meetings this month at the Williamson Campus. Those selected as Cotiga Chapter Fellows will have the opportunity to develop into skilled citizens and future leaders by focusing on character, leadership and technical excellence, Sturgill said. She hopes to have 10 members this year.
Mingo County's own General Robert H. ‚ÄúDoc‚Äù Foglesong established the Appalachian Leadership and Education Foundation in the fall of 2006. Its mission is to recruit and educate young men and women who are academically qualified, exhibit a strong work ethic, and demonstrate leadership qualities, but who would otherwise find college unattainable.
"More than anything else, the way you run your life defines your character and for leaders, good character is paramount," said Foglesong.
Last year Southern joined Marshall, Shepherd, Concord, Mississippi State and West Virginia Parkersburg Community College as ALEF partners. Establishing a student leadership chapter at the Williamson Campus in partnership with Cotiga Development continues to be a perfect match.
Williamson Campus representatives Rita Roberson, Mary Hamilton, Dr. Cindy McCoy, Karen Preece and Stella Estepp will continue to serve as student mentors of the leadership academy.
Some of the benefits of being selected for the leadership academy are:
* College counseling, academic support, and retention services.
* Leadership through Service Program.
* Internships and career development workshops.
* Parent support services and advisory groups.
* Grants and scholarships to financially challenged young men and women.
* Leadership curriculum under the direction of General Foglesong.
For more information about applying for the leadership academy at Southern, contact Sturgill at 304-896-7371 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pictured are l-r, Appalachian Leadership Academy Director Pauline Sturgill, Cotiga Development Company Administrative Assistant Charlotte Curry, ALA Fellows Dee Dee Williams, Kevin Whitt, Shannon Carbello, and Rita White, Southern's President Joanne Jaeger Tomblin and ALA Board Member Dee Kapourales.