Within Appalachian America lie beautiful rolling mountains, diverse ecosystems, and some of the most kind-hearted people in the country.
However, it is also a well known fact that the college attendance rates for Appalachian students are much lower than those for students in other areas of the US. The goal of the iBELIEVE Foundation is to provide students with the leadership, communication, and problem-solving skills that they need to be successful, and to also give them a better understanding of their personal strengths and weaknesses to enable them to become better students, leaders, and citizens.
Local nonprofit promotes student leadership
Columbus, OH - January 18, 2019
The iBELIEVE Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit founded in 2011. Our mission is to provide opportunities to Appalachian youth for the development of 21st century skills such as leadership, communication, and problem solving. Ultimately, our ambitious goal is to increase collegiate attendance and retention across the 13-state Appalachian region.
Every iBELIEVE program conceptualizes the ideas of experiential learning to empower student leaders across Appalachia. Programs are offered year round to provide continual opportunities for students to practice learned skills and re-connect with a network of proactive peers. Thanks to our generous sponsors, every student is provided these unique opportunities completely expense free.
iBELIEVE’s first Statehouse Day was hosted at the Ohio Statehouse. Students from the state’s most active high schools were invited to participate in an innovative program that invited state level political constituents to interact with students from rural districts and engage in a dialogue about issues and challenges for Appalachian communities.
National Appalachian Student Leadership Conference
The National Appalachian Student Leadership Conference was hosted for the first time in 2018. Appalachian student leaders convened at The Ohio State University for one weekend to discuss, analyze, and address real-world issues affecting their communities. 118 students from 51 schools attended the conference and represented 45 counties and 4 Appalachian states
Summer Leadership Workshops
This year, iBELIEVE completed its seventh year of programming and hosted 12 workshops in 4 states. iBELIEVE sponsored 907 students from 194 different schools. Those students represented 90 counties in 5 Appalachian states. Since 2011, iBELIEVE has hosted over 30 leadership workshops, and has sponsored over 3,000 student opportunities on campuses across Appalachia.
Leadership summits are single day events designed to recruit new students to connect with leaders from different schools to discover, build, and strengthen the skills necessary for effective leadership. Local high schools collaborate at regional college campuses to promote student develop in their schools. In 2018, 11 summits were hosted on 10 college campuses, and involved 989 students from 94 schools.
Across all programs in 2018, The iBELIEVE Foundation provided leadership opportunities to 2,014 students from 5 Appalachian states and 93 counties. In addition, iBELIEVE’s programs provided 229 volunteer staff opportunities totaling 9,314 hours of service.
The iBELIEVE Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. 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, OH 45764. Donations can also be made online at www.theibelievefoundation.org.
The iBELIEVE Foundation