American Electric Power Supports The iBELIEVE Foundation & Appalachian Youth

$168,000 dedication supports students of Ohio, West Virginia, and Kentucky

Students of today’s generation seek to obtain skills learned outside the classroom. Vital social skills such as leadership, communication, and problem-solving skills are increasingly demanded to secure successful positions in the workforce. In rural Appalachia, The iBELIEVE Foundation is taking measures to increase access to leadership development programs for high school students. The Foundation prioritizes the future of these students by providing expense free opportunities for local participants to develop these skills at annual program events hosted year-round. The iBELIEVE Foundation’s mission would not be successful without contributions like those dedicated from the American Electric Power Community Foundation.

AEP announced earlier this week that it would award iBELIEVE with a contribution of $168,000. The funds will support iBELIEVE Summer Workshop programs in Ohio, West Virginia, and Kentucky. The summer program series invites high school students for a week-long, residential program hosted across regional universities. The funds dedicated from AEP will sponsor 450 students to attend expense free.

Patrick Klein, founder of the iBELIEVE Foundation, thanked AEP for their dedication to the organization. “We are so grateful for what AEP has done for our organization since Day 1. Their commitment to the Appalachian region and the futures of the local youth has been evident by their actions. This grant will provide even more students with life-changing experiences, but more importantly, allow us to grow in a new state. Thank you for believing in our mission.”

“Education is the top philanthropic priority of the American Electric Power Foundation,” said Dale Heydlauff, president of AEP Foundation. “It is the fundamental precursor to positive change and nowhere is the need greater than in the Appalachian communities reached through the iBELIEVE Foundation. We are proud to support the student leadership development work of the iBELIEVE Foundation as it inspires hundreds of youth to enroll in post-secondary studies that lead to rewarding careers.”

In an effort to emphasize the importance of the skills learned in the program, iBELIEVE is dedicated to providing every event at no cost for participants. Students are sponsored for a program scholarship valued at $350 on behalf of The Foundation’s fundraising efforts. We are proud of what we have accomplished in our first 6 years,” Klein says. “The young people of Appalachia are hard-working, bright, giving, and very motivated. Our goal is to continue to grow and provide this special opportunity to as many young people as possible!”

Gifts to the iBELIEVE Foundation are tax deductible and can be made in many ways, including cash, bequests, and life insurance. To support leadership opportunities for Appalachian students please designate your gift to the iBELIEVE Foundation and mail to The Foundation for Appalachian Ohio, PO Box 456, Nelsonville, Ohio 45764. Donations can also be made online at . For more information on how you can make a difference in the lives of Appalachian youth, please call The iBELIEVE Foundation at 614-827-5463 or visit

About the iBELIEVE Foundation

The iBELIEVE Foundation was established to provide leadership, communication, and problem solving skills to Appalachian youth so that they could become successful future leaders in their schools and most importantly in their communities. More information can be found at

Three Central Ohio Organizations Receive Grants from Walmart Foundation

Retailer gives $200,000 to support Ohio non-profits

Columbus, OH – January 10, 2018 – Walmart and the Walmart Foundation today presented grants totaling $100,000 to three central Ohio non-profit organizations that work to help others live better. The grants were made available through the Foundation’s State Giving Council which is awarding grants totaling $200,000 to five non-profit organization this week.

Walmart representatives from central Ohio gathered at the Walmart Supercenter in Dublin to recognize the following organizations for their service to the community:

  • Lutheran Social Services CHOICES for Victims of Domestic Violence will receive a $31,000 grant to help domestic violence victims and their children with services in and outside of its shelter.
  • Canine Companions for Independence will receive a $25,000 grant to provide assistance dogs with people with disabilities and help them to live more independently.
  • The iBELIEVE Foundation will receive a $44,000 grant to purchase two vehicles to reach more youth in Appalachia with educational programs that teach leadership and problem-solving skills and ultimately close the college access gap that affects so many in this region.

Athens, OHStudents today – especially those growing up in Appalachian communities – need to have 21st century skills like leadership, communication, and problem-solving to find success in this rapidly evolving world.

Luckily for Appalachian students, not only in Ohio but across the entire region, the iBELIEVE Foundation helps students develop these skills through annual summer camps and school-year programming throughout their high school careers. And contributions like those from AT&T Ohio make that summer camp programming possible.

A recent $15,000 contribution from AT&T Ohio helped support 2017 summer camp programming for high school students in Appalachian Ohio.

Last night, student officers of the new iBELIEVE University student organization were joined by State Representative Jay Edwards at Ohio University. A strong supporter of iBELIEVE’s mission of student leadership, Representative Edwards received an update on the expansion of iBELIEVE programming and met with students.