Each summer, Virginia Cooperative Extension offers more than 40 college students and recent graduates the opportunity to work on a team that changes people’s lives and betters communities.
Aldyn Abell, a 2015 Extension intern, spent her summer at the Extension office in Orange County. Among her numerous responsibilities, she helped plan and deliver ocean-themed lessons at 4-H Cloverbud Day Camp.
Through the 10-week program, interns work alongside Extension faculty members gaining experience in youth development, agriculture and natural resources, and family and consumer sciences.
Thomas Vasilopoulos, a 2015 intern, spent his summer with the Extension office in Arlington County. Although he was double majoring in integrated science and technology and Spanish, he found himself doing all sorts of tasks within the office, including helping to design programs and teach children at three different schools.
“They didn’t really hesitate to give me a lot of responsibilities,” Vasilopoulos said. “Extension hired me to make a positive impact in this office, and that’s what I wanted to do.”
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Students who participated in the Reality Store program at Heritage High School were assigned life statuses such as salary, marital status, and family size, but they were also able to draw a chance card which indicated good or bad luck.
Along with college-prep classes like advanced math, foreign language, and English, sophomores at Heritage High School in Lynchburg, Virginia, are getting a glimpse into the vagaries of adulthood by getting schooled in personal finances through a Virginia Cooperative Extension initiative called the Reality Store.
The Reality Store is a project for students enrolled in personal finance classes throughout the year. They check in at different tables that represent categories of expenditures such as housing, communications, and vacations for a class period. During the exercise they are assigned jobs, a monthly salary, a designation on whether or not they’re married, divorced or have kids, and, of course, expenses to manage.
Extension runs Reality Store programs in schools that were developed by an independent company in Indiana and coordinates events with partners in school systems. The program relies heavily on community volunteers.
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BLACKSBURG, Va., Aug. 15, 2014 – Virginia Cooperative Extension and the Virginia Forest Landowner Education Program in Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment, in collaboration with Virginia’s natural resource agencies, companies, and associations, will hold their 38th Annual Fall Forestry and Wildlife Field Tours starting Sept. 29.
The tours offer landowners, natural resource professionals, and other interested Virginians the opportunity to spend a day in the field visiting a variety of properties that are actively managed for timber and wildlife. Participants will visit private, industry, and public lands that center on multiple-use management opportunities and practices.
“The field tour series is the longest running program of its kind in Virginia, and perhaps even the country,” observed Jennifer Gagnon, coordinator of the Virginia Forest Landowner Education Program.
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