September 04, 2019A trio of recent Crawford County High School graduates came back home this summer to receive some real-world work experience.
Through a grant from Giving Indiana Funds for Tomorrow (GIFT), the Community Foundation of Crawford County hired two shared interns, Caitlyn Little and Josie Roser, to work collaboratively with the CFCC, Crawford County Economic Development Corp. and the Chamber of Commerce of Crawford County.
The CFCC also provided a grant that allowed Brian Mitchell, a 2017 CCHS graduate, to serve as a history intern. He worked with the Crawford County Indiana Veterans Memorial Association, county history Roberta Toby and a volunteer group involved with documenting historic graves in the county.
"I started out doing a bunch of research on the cemeteries in Crawford County," Mitchell said, explaining he learned several research techniques. "I had 198 on my list, and I think they missed some."
His projects included mapping various cemetery sites, including legends and coordinates, as well we diagramming the Veterans Memorial layout at English so that visitors can readily identify their family's bricks in the path.
While Little and Roser, both of whom graduated from CCHS in 2018, each worked on community development/leadership initiatives, their projects differed.
"I worked on the Underground 5K," Roser said. "That was my big, major one."
She helped market the Marengo race, which drew 1,376 runners and walkers, made fliers, stuffed and handed out running packets and handed out water to participants.
In the days following the race, Roser touched base with local businesses, including restaurants and gas stations, to see if they experienced any economic impact from the race.
Little helped market unused buildings in the county, attempting to attract larger businesses to the county.
"But, I've kind of noticed that a lot of the projects that branch off of that all kind of have to do with the underground warehouse," she said, referring to the Marengo Warehouse and Distribution Center.
Little and Roser's responsibilities also included administrative and event duties, electronic documentation of Crawford County records, researching various businesses, drafting reports based on collected data, pulling data and documentation from multiple sources, promoting enrollment in the 21st Century Scholars program and serving as ambassadors for the CFCC, EDC and Chamber.
Michael Thissen, executive director of the EDC, praised both Roser and Little, saying they worked diligently "on the promotion and advancement of our county." He added that they also worked "on specific capstone projects that will not only benefit our communities, but, more importantly, build meaningful experiences for them both as they advance their collegiate careers."
Roser is studying sports marketing and management at Indiana University Bloomington and would like to be a college athletic director, while Little, a pharmacy major at Butler University, wants a career in ambulatory pharmacy.
Mitchell is majoring in history and education at the University of Southern Indiana with plans on teaching history.
"The CFCC believes in the value of collaboration and partnership," Christine Harbeson, the organization's executive director, said. "Gathering people to work together to solve our community's problems and provide for needs is especially important when our population is limited in size.
"It has been said, 'It takes a village to raise a child,' but here we believe it takes the whole community to grow a county. Working together, we can achieve so much more. These internships are an example of how that is possible."