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Announcing the Next Generation of Youth Resilience Leaders: SDI Spring 2023

The WVU Center for Resilient Communities is thrilled to announce our newest cohort of  Sustainable Development Interns for Spring 2023. Now entering its  fourth year, the Sustainable Development Internship program is designed for  undergraduate students who wish to cultivate their  leadership and  community-based research capacities to contribute to transformative  social change in  Appalachia. In Spring 2023 interns will join  four collaborative research teams focused on raising the capacity of a new generation in West Virginia to secure the  right to food, build a  resilient regional food system, prepare  vulnerable communities for future climate and flood hazards, and growing access to non-extractive financing for the  development of social enterprises that operate in and serve disadvantaged communities.

The Sustainable Development Internship provides undergraduate students a space to build confidence and capacity in their search for  creative solutions to  local and  global problems. 

"This opportunity will help me gain a better understanding of the real problems that are going on in West Virginia communities and help me grow as a person and gain new skills that I can apply to my major in the future," explains Darren Aguilera, a Geology Major in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences. "Learning from people's experiences and finding out ways to solve problems they are facing is my goal from this program. I'm scared of failure, but I know if I don't take this chance I will never be able to grow out of my shell and unlock my potential to learn from this program. This is why I'm here, to learn, to grow, and to help those that need it."

sp 2023 cohort profile

Our goal with the Sustainable Development Internship is to embody the highest aspirations of our land-grant mission here at WVU Bradley Wilson

Starting in January 2023, interns will join research teams composed of faculty, graduate students and grassroots leaders who are working together on lines of inquiry identified by stakeholders and partners of the Center for Resilient Communities. A key innovation of the program is that interns will benefit from a process of layered mentoring, experiential learning, leadership development and training in community-based participatory research.

" Our goal with the Sustainable Development Internship is to embody the highest aspirations of our land-grant mission here at WVU," explains Bradley Wilson, Executive Director of the Center for Resilient Communities. " We are creating pathways for undergraduate students and graduate students to build capacities to serve our communities through meaningful research, cooperative experimentation, and shared learning with community partners. This work is long-term and ongoing and builds on years of groundwork. Our hope is that the research we do not only makes an impact on policy and practice in WV, but also gives young people courage and confidence that they can make a difference when working cooperatively and collaboratively with community partners."

The Sustainable Development Internship runs from January to May 2023. It is made possible through a generous partnership with the One Foundation. 

Discover Spring 2023 Youth Resilience Leaders:

pic with quotes interns