The West Virginia Beacon Awards recognize young leaders who are leaning in to existing challenges, digging into possible solutions and most importantly, turning their ideas into action.
This program is presented in partnership by two organizations dedicated to supporting young leaders in the Mountain State. The One Foundation nurtures grassroots transformation in communities across the coalfields of Central Appalachia and beyond to spur a more diverse, more sustainable, and more inclusive economy. Generation West Virginia is the statewide organization dedicated to attracting, retaining, and advancing young talent.
The West Virginia Beacon Awards are selected on a nomination-basis. Nominations for those leaders who are performing outstanding work in their community can be submitted online.
The Impact Fellowship is an initiative to attract, retain, and advance the best and brightest young talent to live, work, and contribute to a better future for West Virginia. Modeled after the successful Challenge Detroit program, the yearlong Impact WV fellowship is designed to not only attract top-notch employees to West Virginia but also to retain them.
This program invites tomorrow’s leaders to work, live and give in West Virginia by offering yearlong, paid fellowships at some of the Mountain State’s most innovative companies. During the course of a year, Impact Fellows will work 32 hours a week at one of our participating companies and spend each Friday contributing their brain power and time to a local nonprofit.
We are now accepting applications from those who are interested in entering the tech sector in West Virginia.
NewForce is a tuition-free, in-person, team-based intensive tech training program in Huntington, West Virginia. It was created by employers, community colleges, and nonprofits to ensure West Virginians have the right tech skills for companies who are ready to hire in the Mountain State.
Through the intensive six-month curriculum, NewForce students work together, receive mentorship, and graduate with in-demand software development skills and direct connections to jobs. The program finishes with a Job Interview Day where the program’s employer partners interview NewForce graduates for open positions.
Our local Generations play an important role in our mission as they serve as hubs of connection, engagement, and development led by and for young people.
Across the state, young leaders self-organize in local Generations that make up an activated network of young people who are eager to step up in their communities. While Generation West Virginia provides support to all of our local Generations, they are volunteer-led, planning programs, events, and opportunities for their local networks. Each local Generation is led by a volunteer board or steering committee, providing leadership opportunities for those who join.
Our Generations are developed out of the local leadership’s answer to one question: What would you do to make your community a place where more young people can choose to stay? Each Generation strives to build on the assets of their community and expand the opportunities for young people to get connected and involved.
West Virginians deserve communities and economies that are vibrant and strong, the kinds of places in which all of us can thrive. And we know that young people play a key role in building these kinds of communities and economies.
Stronger communities and economies are possible, and a key strategy to make this happen is helping to keep young West Virginians as residents of the state. The kinds of things that make a community more desirable to young people – like access to good jobs, a vibrant downtown, availability of fun activities – are the same kinds of things that allow all community members to thrive.
Next Generation Communities Project will build teams of community members, local elected officials, and municipal staff who will work together to identify prioritized community characteristics for localized development, and determine local policy solutions, such as resolutions and ordinances, which will achieve real action on their priority objectives.
Generation Kickstart is a pre-conference series for young West Virginians to get connected, stay inspired, and keep learning. Generation Kickstart sessions serve as our generation’s warm up to some of West Virginia’s greatest conferences. Come to just the Kickstart session or the following conference, too, but either way you’ll enjoy interactive sessions and workshops to keep you moving up and up as a leader in West Virginia.