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News & Happenings

AT&T Helps Appalachian Students Discover Their Leadership Potential

Contribution to iBELIEVE Foundation Sends Students to Leadership Camp

Check Presentation Photo

Students from River View High School and others involved with iBELIEVE look on as B.J. Smith, AT&T director of external affairs, (second row, sixth from right) presents a contribution of $15,000 to the iBELIEVE Foundation. Behind Smith is Patrick Klein, founder and director of the iBELIEVE Foundation. Students from River View High School pictured include Kenzi Addy, Sara Allen, Nicole Bryant, Shelbie Carnes, Warren Cox, Kiana Crider, Hannah Frank, Allie McCoy, Hannah Poorman, Peyton Shroyer, Skyler Stewart, Nick Tahyi, and Brianna Wilson. iBELIEVE staff members Jordan Latta and Jordan Moseley as well as Mitchell Howard join the picture. Howard attended Meigs High School and attends Ohio University while Latta and Moseley both attended Alexander High School. 

Lewis Center, OH – High school is a time for personal growth and developing the skills that will guide students throughout the rest of their lives. Thanks to the iBELIEVE Foundation and generous support from AT&T, more students in Appalachian Ohio will be able to participate in leadership camps that develop these important skills. AT&T presented a $15,000 contribution to the iBELIEVE Foundation October 31 to help the region’s students realize their potential as leaders while developing the skills necessary to be successful beyond high school.

“Seeing the personal growth and development in the students who participate in the iBELIEVE program is truly inspiring,” Ohio State Senator Troy Balderson said. “I look forward to seeing the positive impact these students have on their communities both now and in the future.”

The iBELIEVE Foundation, in partnership with the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio (FAO), helps Appalachian students from Ohio and West Virginia develop essential leadership and other soft skills that they can take back to their schools and to their communities. Supporters provide Appalachian students the opportunity to participate in a week-long summer camp to develop their leadership, communication, and problem solving skills. Participants bring their newly honed skills back to their schools to make a difference not only in their school, but in the larger community.

“AT&T is proud to support the iBELIEVE Foundation by providing additional leadership development opportunities for Appalachian Ohio students,” said B.J. Smith, director of external affairs with AT&T. “The iBELIEVE Foundation’s innovative model will help inspire homegrown leadership for years to come.”

Among the goals of iBELIEVE is to increase the college-going rate of Appalachian students, which is historically much lower than in other parts of the U.S. iBELIEVE hopes to retain these students in local communities following their graduation from college.

Students who participate in iBELIEVE Foundation summer camps and other programming, in partnership with the Ohio Association of Student Councils, develop a stronger sense of their personal strengths and weaknesses to be better students, leaders, and citizens. Through the program, participants develop the network necessary to help them achieve their goals, creating more opportunities for current and future Appalachian students.

“Thanks to generous supporters like AT&T and countless others, we are able to provide leadership and other skill development to children throughout

Appalachian Ohio and West Virginia,” said Patrick Klein, founder and director of the iBELIEVE Foundation. “The experiences made possible for today’s students will have an impact on their lives forever.”

Gifts to the iBELIEVE Foundation are tax deductible and can be made in many ways, including cash, bequests, and life insurance. To support leadership opportunities for Appalachian students, please designate your gift to the iBELIEVE Foundation and mail to the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio, PO Box 456, Nelsonville, OH 45764. Donations can also be made online at For more information on how you can make a difference in the lives of Appalachian Ohioans, please call the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio at 740.753.1111 or visit

About the iBELIEVE Foundation Fund

The iBELIEVE Foundation Fund was established to provide leadership, communication, and problem solving skills to Appalachian youth and young adults along with other in-need individuals so that they could become successful future leaders in their schools and most importantly their communities. More information can be found at

About the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio

The Foundation for Appalachian Ohio (FAO) is a regional community foundation serving the 32 counties of Appalachian Ohio. A 501(c)(3) public charity, the Foundation creates opportunities for Appalachian Ohio’s citizens and communities by inspiring and supporting philanthropy. For more information about FAO, visit