Senior earns national nonprofit award
Georgia College senior Sharon Daniel is a next generation leader.
The community health and human services major earned this year’s Next Generation (NextGen) Nonprofit Leaders Award — the ninth time a Georgia College student has received the award within NextGen’s five-year funding program.
The nationally competitive award provides students of social sector organization Nonprofit Leadership Alliance (NLA) a stipend to intern at home or abroad with a nonprofit group of their choice.
“So many expenses are involved in an unpaid internship, especially an international internship since I’m traveling to Honduras,” said Daniel. “This award will ease all my worries about being able to cover my round-trip ticket, food, travelers insurance and passport.”
Daniel earned $4,600 from NLA and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, one of the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States.
The award will help Daniel fulfill her internship requirement to complete her degree and Georgia College’s NLA Certification Program.
“This award sends our fourth Georgia College student abroad, which helps our students tremendously,” said Sara Faircloth, NLA Certification Program coordinator at Georgia College with 35 years of experience in the nonprofit sector. “Our students compete against a lot of students on the national level for the NextGen award, including larger schools like Arizona State University and University of Central Florida in Orlando.”
Beginning January 2013, Daniel will take a five-month trip to La Colorada, Honduras, a small village in Central America.
She will intern with Miqueas 6.8, a nonprofit Honduran charitable organization and children’s home based in Atlanta.
“In high school I went on a couple of weeklong mission trips with the organization,” said Daniel of Lawrenceville. “Miqueas 6.8 is a perfect fit for my major. The experience will give me an opportunity to learn how nonprofits work internationally and allow me to become immersed in the Honduran culture.”
For the past two years, Daniel has participated in Georgia College’s NLA Certification Program located at the university’s new Center for Engaged Learning.
The undergraduate program has partnered with the NLA since 2003.
Georgia College is one of only 50 colleges in NLA’s national network. It is also one of three Georgia universities participating in the program next to Georgia State University and Kennesaw State University.
“Currently, we have 21 students in this year’s program,” Faircloth said. “We welcome students from across all disciplines. Our campus program prepares students like Sharon to become civically engaged leaders within our communities.”
The award and campus program equips students with the resources and skills to become effective professionals in the nonprofit sector.
Students also earn a Certified Nonprofit Professional designation through the program, which is the only national nonprofit management and leadership credential developed with and recognized by the nonprofit sector.
“Through the credential students receive priority access to nonprofit job opportunities with competitive salaries,” said Faircloth.
Once Daniel graduates during May, she plans to work with a children- or education-focused organization.
“Every child deserves the chance to succeed,” Daniel said. “It’s our duty to make sure they have the resources to do so. Our NLA program on campus has taught me management, public speaking and program planning and implementation skills so I can pursue a career in nonprofit that makes a difference.”
Visit gcsu.edu/engagement to learn more about Nonprofit Leadership Alliance at Georgia College.