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Donor Spotlight

Jo Ellen Diehl Yeary | Generosity rooted in pride, remembrance, dedication to home

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Growing Home Fellowship

The Foundation of Appalachian Ohio commissioned its inaugural class of Growing Home Fellows on Oct. 7, 2023. Part of an evening celebrating and inspiring community building, the commissioning ceremony was followed by a public presentation from David Brooks. The New York Times columnist and best-selling author shared insights from his book, “The Second Mountain,” which focuses on the joy that comes from service to community.

View our 2023 Growing Home Fellowship speakers

The first year of the Growing Home Fellowship saw leaders and visionaries across Ohio and beyond give their time, expertise, and encouragement to our fellows – gifts that will inspire all those committed to our communities.

About the Program

The Foundation for Appalachian Ohio’s Growing Home Fellowship is designed to recruit, retain, and nurture the next generation of community builders for Appalachian Ohio.

The inaugural class of 121 fellows, the “From Classroom to Community Cohort,” includes 18- to 35-year-olds who work with our region’s K-12 population. They are classroom educators, student support service providers, and behavioral and educational programming partners, representing 29 of Appalachian Ohio’s 32 counties. In exchange for agreeing to live, work, and volunteer in the region for five years, the fellows receive a financial stipend and access to a leadership program that includes service, skill development, and peer learning.

Over the course of the five-year program, Growing Home Fellows will have numerous opportunities to hear from and interact with individuals who are leading in their fields and in their communities and to network and learn from one another.

Hear from some of our inaugural Growing Home Fellows and speakers at the first “From Classroom to Community Cohort” Gathering, held April 15, 2023, at the historic Stuart’s Opera House.

FAO is investing in Growing Home Fellows as they bring their gift of community building out of the classrooms and into new arenas within their communities throughout Appalachian Ohio, creating far greater opportunities for people across the region for generations to come.

The Growing Home Fellowship pilot is funded through a public-private partnership, with federal funding from the U.S. Department of Education and private funding made possible by generous donors to the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio.

Special thanks to Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine who, through the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Program, appropriated funds through the Ohio Department of Higher Education to fund this pilot program and to private donors, including an anonymous donor and Ken Taylor of Ohio CAT.


Contact or call 740-753-1111.