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Joy Petway ('07)
When the Phoenix Project chose participants for their 2007 Nonprofit Leadership Program, Joy was one of 30 top students from 14 universities selected — "the best of the best in Virginia," according to Greg Wekheiser, executive director. The nonprofit organization educates and engages young people to become social entrepreneurs, effective leaders in Virginia's nonprofit sector. Joy, who earned her bachelor's degree in social work, relished the opportunity to spend a summer honing the skills necessary to make a difference in distressed communities. Working in Petersburg, Va., Joy and other participants worked in teams alongside community leaders on projects that benefited more than two dozen nonprofit and municipal organizations, including those aimed at economic development, outreach to troubled youth and structural issues within the public school system. It's tough work revitalizing distressed communities ¿ "a battle" according to the Phoenix Project. Nonetheless, Joy is undeterred in her pursuit to be the change. "This program has given me the direction, motivation, knowledge, skills and invaluable connections to pursue a marketing communications career in the nonprofit sector," she says.
"Too often we see what problems exist but refuse to take the steps to change them. After my experience [with the Phoenix Project] I feel I have the skills and understanding to make a difference."