HeartBeat Fall 2017 | Page 12

YOUTH IN AG NEW INTERNSHIP PROGRAM GROWS OUT OF PARTNERSHIP By Gerardo R. Martínez, MBA, Alianzas Program Director Pictured from left to right: Rick Huacuz, Gerardo Martinez and Isaac Roldan visit a Sedalia farm. A bout a year ago, MU Extension invited the leadership of FCS Financial, an agricultural and rural financial institution, to attend a Missouri 4-H Youth Futures conference. Jo Turner, former Interim Vice Provost and Director of MU Extension, extended the invitation to Steve Harrington, FCS Financial Chief Financial Officer. He accepted. As a result of his experience at the conference, Harrington felt inspired to reach out to Latino students to become part of FCS Financial’s established college internship program. He asked Dr. Turner for her thoughts on how to best achieve that goal. She immediately thought of 12 HEARTBEAT | FALL 2017 Alianzas, believing we could help FCS Financial pioneer this new outreach by helping them tailor their program to Latino college students and their families. Soon after, Harrington and FCS Financial Vice President of Human Resources Karie Mengwasser, and HR generalist Liz Shollmeyer met with MU Extension and Alianzas to discuss forming a partnership, including roles, responsibilities and planned outcomes. MU Vice Chancellor of Extension and Engagement Dr. Marshall Stewart dropped by the meeting to show his support for the new joint effort. The new partners agreed upon the following internship program goals: Promote successful internship experiences for Latino/a college students • Contribute to Latino/a college students’ positive future career outcomes • Increase cultural awareness and intercultural competencies at FCS Financial • Forge strong relationships between FCS Financial and the Latino/a community Soon after all details were settled, Alianzas reached out to state universities and Latino organizations to announce the internship opportunity and encourage students to apply. In June, FCS Financial selected two students, Rick Huacuz (Missouri State University, Accounting) and Isaac Roldan (Oklahoma •