Jennings County High School graduate Sydney Carson’s name was recently in the Plain Dealer & Sun among a list of fellow graduating seniors who had earned the Governor’s Work Ethic Certificate, which was sponsored this year by Montrow Group in collaboration with the Jennings County Economic Development Commission (EDC). The Work Ethic Certificate is earned by high school seniors, recognizing the invaluable currency of “employability skills.” Now Sydney’s hard work has come full circle as she begins her new job at the EDC.

The opportunity came about during the EDC’s breakfast banquet for the Certificate recipients; the young graduate overheard EDC Director, Kathy Ertel, telling Superintendent Teresa Brown that she was looking for someone to help manage the social media accounts and marketing aspects of the EDC.

“And I scrounged up all the courage I could muster and sent one faithful email to Kathy telling her that I was willing to fill that position,” said Sydney.

“I brought up at our award breakfast that if they ever needed support from their community in whatever their future might take them, they should know that they could always reach out and the JCEDC would be glad to help, like if they needed summer internships, connections with employers, or just questions in general,” Ertel explained.

She was interested in hiring an intern for the summer to work on communications and outreach as they are working on the North Vernon Comp Plan, their DRAG Small Business Grants, as well as a new website.

When Sydney expressed interest in the position, Ertel said the young lady shared some excellent prior experience with communications, both written and social media, during her time in Key Club.

“Her proactive communication, interest, and experience suited our available internship.”

The EDC has, throughout the years, had a college intern, depending on the anticipated summer schedule and the amount of potential projects, as well as finding the right person.

“I’ve always been a huge proponent of businesses and not-for-profits here in Jennings and hiring local students for the summer,” said Ertel.

Sydney’s position is a paid summer internship with hours as appropriate. She is 18-years-old and the daughter of Randy and Vicki Carson of Westport. She will be attending Purdue University this fall to study Biochemistry on a Pre-Medicine track.

And now with an internship to add to her resume, Sydney is likely pleased with the additional hours she put in to applying for the Work Ethic Certificate as well as other scholarships.

“I personally think it is extremely important to apply to scholarships no matter how grueling the application process can be,” she confirmed. “Even if a student doesn’t get a specific one they wanted, there are still thousands more to apply for, and it can never hurt to apply!”

Sydney continued, saying that in the application process alone, applicants will learn useful writing skills, as well as patience from writing their name, address and phone number countless times.

“I also extremely urge JC high schoolers to pursue the Work Ethic Certificate, as it looks great on job applications, and teaches students the skills they need to become a driving force in the working world today.”

Sydney is looking forward to the learning experience, making connections, and forming relationships with people in the community.

“I hope to be able to help connect people with the job of their dreams and help Jennings County’s businesses become as successful as possible, all to better our town as a whole,” the young go-getter said. “Hopefully, I can help JCHS students realize how much of a helpful tool the EDC can be moving forward in their lives.”