August 9, 2023

On July 26, 2023, Amy Ball Braswell, Executive Director, Strategic Initiatives, for Forsyth Technical Community College was one of 39 fellows from Appalachia’s 13 states who graduated from the Appalachian Leadership Institute, a leadership and economic development program sponsored by the Appalachian Regional Commission. Members of the Class of 2023, along with their friends and family, attended the ceremony held in the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, DC.

“My enthusiastic congratulations to the 2023 class of Appalachian Leadership Institute Fellows! I’m proud of the work this industrious group of changemakers has accomplished over the last nine months as they dedicated themselves to sharing and building the knowledge needed to create long-lasting impacts on the region,” said ARC Federal Co-Chair Gayle Manchin. “The partnerships they built during their time at the Appalachian Leadership Institute will help bolster the strength and vitality of the region long after graduation, and I can’t wait to see the further impacts they will have as they continue their leadership roles across our 13 states.” 

In the nine months leading up to graduation, Amy, along with 38 peers from across the Appalachian region participated in six sessions, all of which included skill-building seminars with regional experts, peer-to-peer learning, and case study analysis. All aspects of the curriculum were designed to equip fellows with the knowledge and network needed to create positive change in their communities. Amy was one of three representing North Carolina in the class.

“I have lived in this region my whole life and I feel truly honored to have been selected for this program. Over the last nine months I have learned a great deal, grown personally and professionally, and developed new skill sets that I can take back to my home community to continue making #Appalachia a better place,” stated Amy. “The relationships I have built with the other Fellows will last long beyond this program.”

As a graduate of the Appalachian Leadership Institute, Amy is now part of the Appalachian Leadership Institute Alumni Network. With each graduating class, the network will continue to grow, connect leaders, and facilitate learning and idea exchange across the 13 Appalachian states.

“We’re both grateful to Amy for her participation and proud that she represented Forsyth Tech, and Forsyth and Stokes Counties so well. We look forward to learning from her and seeing the positive impact that she continues to have on our campus community and the area as a whole,” said Dr. Janet Spriggs, President of Forsyth Tech.