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RALEIGH, NC, July 23, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – In 2019, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Government received a grant from the SECU Foundation to help launch a pilot cohort called Leader for North Carolina (LFNC), a graduate scholarship program. This week, the SECU Foundation announced its renewed support for the successful program with a grant of $ 1 million. The increased funding will allow the UNC School of Government to place up to 50 SECU Fellows in paid local government scholarships over a three-year period.
LFNC is a program that aims to train the next generation of public service leaders to help strengthen local governments and improve the quality of life in underserved communities and the most economically disadvantaged areas of the state. The objectives of the scholarship include increasing the talent pool to replace and build on the legacy of retired local government leaders and amplify the voice of marginalized populations in local government.
The program was successful in raising awareness and generated great interest among college graduates for the potential to serve in their local communities. In fact, the UNC School of Government received over 300 applications from a diverse group of graduates for the LFNC Pilot Project. SECU fellows were selected based on their commitment to public service and employed at government hospitality sites for one year in or near their hometown. Feedback from the initial cohort showed that 94 percent of host sites reported increased operational capacity, and 81 percent noted that participating SECU fellows helped the jurisdiction address previously unresolved challenges.
“The SECU Foundation is a strong advocate for educational programs that provide students with unique opportunities not only to develop their capacities, but also to improve the future of the local governments and the communities they serve,” said Jo Anne Sanford , President of the Board of Directors of the SECU Foundation. . “Lead for North Carolina is an exciting program that serves as a natural transition from our SECU Public Fellows internship program for those who wish to continue exploring meaningful careers in public service. The UNC School of Government is well known for its non-partisan and politically neutral work, helping North Carolinians understand and improve state and local government. The Foundation is very happy to continue to support this great initiative.
“This SECU Foundation grant is a vote of confidence in the Lead for North Carolina program and its outstanding fellows,” said Mike Smith, Dean of the UNC School of Government. “These promising young leaders bring unprecedented energy, diverse perspectives and new ideas to our communities and our state. We all benefit from the program and the UNC School of Government is proud to support its continued development.
Aabout SECU and the SECU FoundationA member-owned, not-for-profit financial cooperative, SECU has provided North Carolina State employees and their families with consumer financial services for 84 years. The Credit Union also offers a diverse range of financial advisory services, including retirement and education planning, tax preparation, insurance, estate and trust planning services and investments through its partners and affiliated entities. SECU serves over 2.5 million members through 272 branches, 1,100 ATMs, 24/7 member services by phone, a website, www.ncsecu.org and a mobile application. Members can also follow and subscribe to SECU on Facebook and YouTube. The SECU Foundation, a 501 (c) (3) charity funded by contributions from SECU members, promotes local community development in North Carolina primarily through high impact projects in the areas of housing, l education, health care and social services. Since 2004, SECU Foundation has made a collective financial commitment of more than $ 200 million for initiatives benefiting North Carolina statewide. In addition to the website, the highlights are also available on the SECU Foundation Instagram page.
Contact: Jama Campbell, Executive Director Office: 919-839-5562 | [email protected]
A photo accompanying this announcement is available on https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/813c5a1f-87ed-4e70-8b2e-56a956046218
Presentation of the LFNC check
Left to right: McKinley Wooten Jr., SECU Foundation Board Members, Jo Anne Sanford (Chair) and Jennifer Haygood, with UNC School of Government Dean Mike Smith, LFNC Executive Director , Dylan Russell, LFNC Principal Professor Kara Millonzi, and Local Government Legal Department Educator Rebecca Badgett.
Source: State employee savings fund (SECU)