Investing in Local Leadership

As Lead for North Carolina prepares 25 recent graduates for community-based fellowships, a $1 million grant from the State Employees’ Credit Union Foundation is poised to take the program into the future.

Launched in 2019, Lead for North Carolina (LFNC) places promising recent graduates in community-based local government fellowships across North Carolina. The program seeks to build a robust pipeline of talented future leaders who are interested in public service. More immediately, participating local governments gain a young, qualified employee who can help address areas of critical need in the community.

To date, LFNC has sent 27 fellows to communities from North Topsail to Hendersonville, Shallotte to Rockingham County. Those fellows work on projects of keen interest to their local areas, focusing on areas including economic development, sustainability, community health, hurricane recovery and resiliency, infrastructure and utilities.

The success of the program would not have been possible without support from several partner organizations, including a crucial grant from the State Employees’ Credit Union Foundation. This July, the Foundation announced it is renewing that support with a three-year, $1 million grant to LFNC, which will place up to 50 Fellows in economically distressed communities throughout the state.

“SECU Foundation is a strong advocate for educational programs that provide unique opportunities for students to not only develop their capabilities, but also for them to enhance the future of local governments and the communities they serve,” said Jo Anne Sanford, SECU Foundation Board Chair.

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