WILMINGTON — Surprise, honor and pride are just a few of the terms that describe how members of Energize Clinton County and Wilmington City Council felt when they saw the President of the United States referenced them in his most recent online op-ed piece. President Barack Obama referenced local organizations in his article posted in early October which highlighted the strength and resilience of Rural America.
“In Clinton County, Ohio, young people have organized to tackle the brain drain, creating a fellowship program that matches local businesses with college students home for the summer. And those young people aren’t just learning, they’re leading – just last year, Wilmington, Ohio elected a majority-Millennial city council,” said President Obama in his post.
To Energize Clinton co-founder Mark Rembert, a sense of astonishment and reverence was felt when seeing them mentioned.
“We were honored to be among other innovative groups listed by him,” said Rembert. “It’s a great reflection of the fact that there is strength in rural communities like ours.”
In his post, President Obama noted that he and his Administration had worked with rural communities trying to build opportunities for younger people to reach their potential without having to leave their hometown, which has been a goal of Clinton County Fellows.
Council members had similar feelings when it came to the Commander-in-Chief’s recognition.
Lonnie Stuckert, while feeling that the older generation should’ve been acknowledged as well, was honored and happy to see President Obama notice them.
“I think it’s good because it’s important that the youth is stepping up and becoming leaders,” said Stuckert.
Kelsey Swindler expressed her pride in the President highlighting both council and the group that left an impact on her.
“I’m proud to have been a part of those early years of Clinton Community Fellows,” said Swindler. “My Fellows experience shaped my current professional life and aspirations, and especially my drive to serve Wilmington as a city council member.”
For Jonathan McKay, seeing a lot of millennials coming back and helping the community is great and he is happy to see President Obama mention them.
Among the other communities the President highlighted included former coal miners in Pikeville, Kentucky who turned a old bottling factory into a digital hub and school leaders in Piedmont, Alabama who invested in high-speed internet access and laptops for every student which can tailor lessons to individual students.
Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574