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Source: Olivia Collins, 785-532-6502,

Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2008


MANHATTAN -- Four Kansas State University students interested in careers with nonprofit or philanthropic organizations have been selected as spring 2009 Next Generation Nonprofit Leaders by American Humanics.

Recipients are Bailey Raaf Hedstrom, senior in family studies and human services, Gridley; Katie Whitney, senior in anthropology, Manhattan; Richard Weerts, senior in elementary education, Olathe; and Jayne Long, senior in life sciences, Topeka. All four students have leadership studies minors in the American Humanics/nonprofit leadership focus offered through K-State's School of Leadership Studies.

As Next Generation Leaders, they each receive a $4,500 stipend to help cover living and educational expenses while they complete an internship with a nonprofit or philanthropic organization.

The K-Staters are among the 94 students from across the U.S. selected as Next Generation Leaders by a national panel of university, nonprofit and philanthropic leaders. Fifteen K-State students have now been selected as Next Generation Leaders since the program was created in 2007, according to Olivia Collins, director of K-State's American Humanics program.

Hedstrom's internship is with Meadowlark Hills Retirement Community in Manhattan. Hedstrom is active in her sorority, Alpha Chi Omega, where she has held three offices. She also has served as a volunteer for the Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Parents As Teachers and the K-State Child Development Center. She has served as entertainment co-chair and external fundraising chair for Up 'Til Dawn. In addition, she has been community service chair of the American Humanics Student Association and coordinated the trip to the association's recent annual conference for 15 of her fellow K-State students.

Whitney's internship is with the K-State Volunteer Center of Manhattan. She is community service chair of K-State's American Humanics Student Association, a planning committee member for the Fair Trade Marketplace at K-State and an AmeriCorps member for UFM Community Learning Center. She also has been a volunteer in Uganda for Save the AIDS Orphans and plans to return to the country to serve this summer. Whitney has participated in the Tomorrow's Leaders Today program at Eisenhower Middle School, which is offered through the School of Leadership Studies; Invisible Children; Habitat for Humanity; Urbana; was a volunteer relief worker in Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina; and has been a missionary in Cuenca, Ecuador.

Weerts is completing an internship with the K-State Volunteer Center of Manhattan. He serves as a volunteer head basketball coach for Special Olympics; program director for a Rotary Boy Scout Camp in Lee's Summit, Mo.; volunteer leader for K-State's Alternative Spring Break team in Tennessee; and as an invited participant at the Forum on College Student Volunteering: Changing the World through Service, sponsored by the Corporation for National and Community Service in Washington, D.C. Weerts will be a member of a K-State International Service Team in Botswana this summer.

Long's internship is at the Flint Hills Community Clinic in Manhattan. At K-State, she has served as president of the Pre-Physician's Assistant Club and College of Arts and Sciences Ambassadors. She is a member and fundraising coordinator of Mortar Board, the national senior honor society, and is a member of Lafene Health Center's Student Health Advisory Committee. Long has traveled to Botswana as part of K-State's International Service Teams, receiving a Phi Kappa Phi Study Abroad Grant award to support this experience.

American Humanics is a national alliance of colleges, universities and nonprofit organizations dedicated to preparing the next generation of nonprofit sector leaders. The Next Generation Nonprofit Leaders Program is supported by a $5 million grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and is designed to help a racially and ethnically diverse group of American Humanics students with demonstrated leadership potential complete the nonprofit internship required for certification by American Humanics in nonprofit leadership and management.