Applications for Empower Wayne County now open for non-profit organizations, students

Empower Wayne County connects Indiana University East students with area Wayne County non-profit organizations to work together to develop programs or projects. This year, organizations paired with student teams will meet virtually to complete projects.

The Office of Career Services and Internships offers the program, now in its second year. Three non-profit organizations will be selected to pair with a team of three to four students during the spring 2021 semester. The organization will virtually work with the team to develop a program or project identified by the non-profit.

Director of Career Services Sally Saydshoev said the Empower Wayne County program helps to meet the growing needs of non-profit organizations in the community while preparing students for professional careers.

“Empower Wayne County is a win-win opportunity for an organization and for students,” Saydshoev said. “The program provides organizations with a student team to help develop a program or project. Students in return will have an opportunity to learn more about the wonderful non-profit organizations in our community and be able to connect what they are learning in the classroom to real world projects. This provides an immersive learning experience that students can talk about in future career interviews.”

The program may also help students gain a better understanding of the employment opportunities available in Wayne County, Saydshoev added.

Wayne County non-profits interested in participating in the program will submit a Request For Proposals (RFP) online by Friday, January 8.

A panel of IU East faculty, campus administration, and community leaders will select three programs from the RFPs submitted. Non-profit organizations selected will receive notifications in January 2021.

Participating students will be recommended by a faculty member and must complete an application to be considered. Applications are available on Handshake. Student applications are due Friday, January 8.

The panel will select a team of students from across different academic backgrounds. The students will then work in collaboration with organization, a faculty mentor, and a liaison from IU East’s Career Services to address the need identified in the RFP.

At the end of the semester, students will present their projects virtually attended by the organization liaison(s), community leaders, and members of campus. The presentations will be judged by a review panel and a winner will be selected. Each student on the winning student team will receive a $300 scholarship.

Each of the three non-profits will receive the work of the group and have an opportunity to use the work in whatever manner they wish.

The Empower Wayne County program provides many benefits to the students, the non-profit, and the community. The project will assist non-profits in developing important community projects that advance the non-profit and improve the community. Empower Wayne County provides students with an opportunity to make a difference in the community, simultaneously strengthens students’ technical and soft skills, and helps build their resumes with real-world work experience.

The program will begin in February 2021 and conclude in May 2021, at the end of the spring semester.

For more information, contact Career Services at 765-973-8584 or, or visit the Empower Wayne County website at