The UCA Center of Community and Economic Development (CCED) have selected junior Kennedy Neely, senior Ariel Smith and graduate student Ophelia Akofo for their fall fellowship. 

These selected fellows will work with a team from the community and economic development center in the field of their choice. 

According to uca.edu, the mission of the CCED fellowship is “to expose UCA students to a variety of community or economic development careers and provide networking, coaching and mentoring to enhance career preparedness.”

During this fellowship, participants will go to three work sites to engage in activities that will increase their knowledge and skills in community and economic development. These activities include job shadowing, mock interviews, organization tours and other career advancement related activities. Students are required to complete at least six to eight hours each month.

This program is intended to better prepare the fellows for the job market and allow them to network while doing so. Director Shelby Fiegel says this fellowship can be helpful for several different career paths including urban planning, government and non-profit organizations. 

The benefits of this fellowship include networking, hands-on experience, mentorship from CCED staff, travel reimbursement, membership and registration to the Arkansas Community Development Society and registration to the Community Development Society.

Neely, a political science and international studies major, is most excited about the connections she will make through the fellowship. 

“I’m really looking forward to making some connections with people that are high up in the field that I’m wanting to go into,” Neely said. “Through the fellowship, I have been going to more non-profits and those kinds of organizations and that’s kind of changed my mind … so because of the fellowship, I’m kind of looking at a different career path.”

The students were selected for this fellowship through an application process which required them to write essays and participate in an in-person interview. Neely found out about the opportunity through a Facebook post.

 “Somebody had shared the article announcing the applications were open and [the person who shared] had done it before. I saw her post and read about it,” said Neely.

The application asks for general student information such as one’s major and GPA. The essays generally asked applicants why they were interested and what they hoped to gain from the fellowship.

There are fellowships in the spring, summer, and fall semesters. The CCED will be accepting applications for the spring semester in January 2020.

For more information on the fellowship, visit uca.edu/cced.

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