The most recent Census showed that West Virginia has the highest rate of population decline in the country—we lost 3.2% of our population from 2010–2020. West Virginia is the only state in the nation with a declining population. In confronting this reality, one thing is very clear: the state’s future depends on its ability to become an ideal destination for young talent. We work each day toward a vision of West Virginia where young people don’t feel like they have to choose between their home state and the life they want and deserve.
Generation West Virginia (GWV) is the statewide organization dedicated to attracting, retaining, and advancing young people in the Mountain State. We achieve this by:
We are working toward a vision of West Virginia where challenges are seen as opportunities, young people are drivers in our state’s future, and the Mountain State is a destination for young talent to live, work, and thrive.
Alex was previously the executive director of Wheeling National Heritage Area Corporation (Wheeling Heritage), a congressionally designated nonprofit organization that catalyzes the revitalization of Wheeling. At Wheeling Heritage, Alex oversaw the growth of the organization, advocated for state and federal policy, and supported efforts to revitalize Wheeling through historic preservation, arts and culture programming, and downtown development work.
Alex graduated from West Virginia University with a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism and a minor in business administration. She earned her Master of Science in integrated marketing communications from WVU’s Reed College of Media. She is a member of the boards of YWCA Wheeling, Regional Economic Development Partnership (RED), Wheeling Area Chamber of Commerce, the Wellsburg URA, and Downtown Wellsburg.
Alex and her husband, Ryan, live in Wellsburg with their three dogs.
Brittany Javins joined the Generation WV team in 2019 as Operations Director, bringing her past experience as an Executive Director, educator, and artist to the role. From 2015-2019, Brittany served as Executive Director of the city-wide, multi-arts festival FestivALL in Charleston, WV. She began her work with FestivALL as an intern in 2012 while studying for her Master’s in Arts Administration at Florida State University. She also held an internship at the Tallahassee Council on Culture and Arts, and worked as the Program Director for DanceChance at the Tallahassee Ballet. Prior to that, Brittany taught middle school English for Kanawha County Schools from 2008-2011. Brittany is a native West Virginian with a passion for arts and education and seeing her home state flourish through mindful, people-centered strategic growth. She is excited to join the statewide mission of Generation WV to attract and retain young people in the Mountain State.
Brittany Hicks is now the Local Generation Network Program Director after first working as the Regional Manager for Region 2 of Generation West Virginia beginning in July 2019.
Growing up in Hampshire County inspired in Brittany a powerful sense of place, and a deep connection to the mountains and people of West Virginia. From a young age, she has been determined to make her life’s work in the Mountain State. She believes in community, creativity, and collaboration.
Brittany earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Appalachian Studies from Davis & Elkins College in Elkins, WV, and a Master’s Degree in Appalachian Studies from Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. Her previous work includes environmental and arts education programming, event coordination and promotion, and nonprofit management.
Brittany also pursues her artistic interests, including naturally dyed fiber art, under the name Sassafras Workshop.
Amy Fauber became the Fellowship Director for Generation WV in January 2020. She joined the team ready to take her skills as a relationship-builder, mentor, and organizer to help take on GWV’s overall mission.
Prior to embarking on this journey, Amy was a local middle school teacher for seven years. As a former educator, Amy felt called to carry on her passion for guidance and love of West Virginia. As a native West Virginian, Amy understands the struggles the state faces daily, but also just how much West Virginia has to offer to its current occupants, those homesick for their native home, as well as those hoping for new opportunities.
She earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Berea College and a Master’s Degree from the University of Southern California.
Before I discovered programming, I managed a family-owned store in Asheville, NC. I started teaching myself to code because the store’s database management system couldn’t give me the numbers I needed, so I jerry-rigged it with custom scripts. It was a slippery slope: before long, I was having a lot more fun building hacking software for the business than I was managing it. I attended Nashville Software School for full-stack web development and stayed on as a teaching assistant after I graduated. I love working in a field where there’s always something new to learn. I’m excited to help NewForce students embrace the learning curve and take their first steps into the new frontier of the tech industry.
Having spent the bulk of my career in theatre education, I learned a few things: every person is individually extraordinary, bravery comes in all forms, and I am most satisfied when I’m helping people find their strongest self. Here at NewForce, I am dedicated to helping students develop their interpersonal skills to not only further their careers in technology but also make their experiences in the program as fully transformative and positive as possible.
What really sparked my interest in becoming a developer is the opportunity to create content for others to use and enjoy. My first experience with development was trying to teach myself html for fun. I chose to be a developer because I enjoy creating new content. I get excited learning new things and being able to implement them in a project.
After working with The Walt Disney Company for over a decade to improve customer and employee experiences, Sarah decided that she wanted to dig deeper into the data behind-the-scenes. This led her to join NewForce Cohort 3 in the spring of 2020. She’s always loved sprinkling a little magic to transform mundane processes into something better, and, through coding, she’s found that she’s able to do that even more. As Junior Instructor with NewForce, she’s excited to help other West Virginians develop the skills they need to pursue careers in the tech industry and make their own dreams a reality.
As the Broadband Coordinator, Natalie Roper leads the organization’s Locally Driven Broadband Solutions project, an initiative in partnership with the Benedum Foundation. Having served as the first Executive Director of GWV, she is now supporting the organization’s mission in a new way. With an understanding of how critical broadband access is to attracting, retaining, and advancing young people in the Mountain State, she works to leverage GWV’s statewide network of people and partner organizations to support communities in building broadband solutions that work for them. When not working on this initiative at GWV, she can be found developing new initiatives to support coal-impacted communities as the Director of Special Projects at the Just Transition Fund.
VP Human Resources at Pendleton Community Bank
Associate at Babst Calland
Attorneys at Law
Vice President for Business and Finance at West Virginia State University
Sales Manager at the Cabell Huntington Convention and Visitors Bureau
Operations Manager at Ranson Urgent Care Valley Health
Director of Business Development
Financial Strategist at McKinley Carter Wealth Services
Director of Engineering at InspectionGo
First2 Network Program Coordinator for the West Virginia Science & Research Higher Education Policy Commission