Jepson senior Jessica Dowe, '10, is putting her knowledge of leadership to work this summer with an internship at Leadership Greenville in South Carolina, one of many community leadership programs nationwide.

Leadership Greenville is an extensive leadership development program geared toward emerging leaders in Greenville County. The 10-month program runs from August to May and covers topics pertinent to the Greenville area such as managed growth and economics, quality of life, human services, justice, education, and local and state governments. Each year, 55 people are selected to participate based on their involvement in the community and the "ability to set and achieve high personal goals," according to the program's Web site.

"Leadership Greenville is a program to educate community leaders about the community...in an effort to create the opportunities and desire to become more involved in making a difference in the community in leadership roles," Executive Director Sandi Coan said.

As an intern for the program Dowe not only assists with the daily functions of the office, but is also involved in almost all discussions related to the planning of the leadership programs. Dowe helps to prepare notebooks, correspondence, and information guidelines, as well as creates invitations to various orientation events.

In addition to aiding in the development of the program that will start again in August, Dowe also took part in Opportunity Greenville and the youth leadership development program, which are coordinated by the Greenville Chamber of Commerce. Opportunity Greenville is an intensive three-month program, from which many participants go on to become involved in the Leadership Greenville program. Similar to Leadership Greenville, Youth Leadership focuses on a younger audience, as it is open only to rising high school juniors.

"A lot of what we learn comes into play here," Dowe said, when asked if her Jepson studies have helped at all with her internship. "How people interact, I see that a lot in meetings, and ethics, as far as who to let into the programs. And a lot of the curriculum is just like Jepson's Justice and Civil Society class."

Dowe is a leadership studies and women, gender and sexuality studies double major. Some of what she has studied about women and gender, which sometimes overlaps with Jepson classes, has been helpful during her time in South Carolina. She chose both majors because of their emphasis on diversity and community involvement, which she is bringing to life at Leadership Greenville.

When she began looking for her internship, she wasn't sure where her career path was headed and wanted to find hands-on learning experience. Although she's originally from Galloway, N.J., she was looking primarily in the South Carolina area and was excited to have found an opportunity that was so closely connected to her studies at the University of Richmond.