Interning with the Fayette County Cultural Trust

Hello! My name is Natalie, and I am a senior at Pitt majoring in Urban Studies and Anthropology, minoring in Political Science, and getting a certificate in Public and Professional Writing. In addition to my studies, I am an intern with the Fayette County Cultural Trust for this Spring semester. The Fayette County Cultural Trust is a nonprofit organization headquartered in Connellsville, Pennsylvania, just around 45 miles south of Pittsburgh. The FCCT helps to revitalize the local community in hopes of promoting the different cultural, historic, artistic, and natural assets that Fayette County has to offer. 

My experience with this organization began in the Fall when I participated in the Appalachian Teaching Project, a research program that supports college students in the Appalachian Region to develop economic growth for our surrounding communities. For that project, a group of students and I worked directly with the community in Fayette County, specifically in the towns of Connellsville and Uniontown, as well as with the FCCT to help identify and deliver on the community’s goals for their towns.

Continuing the work my peers and I developed last semester, I, along with two other interns, will be doing research for the FCCT’s latest project to spearhead economic growth and capacity building in Connellsville – an entrepreneurship center in the heart of town where current and aspiring business-owners can have a space to further develop entrepreneurship skills. My fellow interns and I will be putting together a comprehensive report on the different facets of this entrepreneurship space to help decide the best features and opportunities the community would want to have in the space.

I am most looking forward to continuing to work with the community as I did last semester and create meaningful relationships with everyone I interact with. I am excited to learn from Daniel Cocks and Michael Edwards – who run the FCCT in addition to spearheading a multitude of economic development and community-building initiatives in Fayette County – as well as the community and those leading the many great opportunities in Fayette County. I am very grateful for this opportunity to expand my knowledge of and work with sustainable and community-based development, as well as the chance to work with amazing people along the way!  

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