EKU public relations intern enjoys working for the region she calls home
By Kelly Arnold
EKU Public Relations Major
Annie Zomaya sees her internship as more than just a resume builder or educational requirement. Zomaya has a connection and passion for the region she calls home.
EKU public relations intern and Appalachian native, Zomaya knows first-hand the conditions of the region and the challenges that the people face and have faced for many years.
Zomaya's responsibilities are to promote the missions of Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR) and East Kentucky Leadership Foundation. Some of those responsibilities include enhancing and maintaining a social media presence, website design, writing feature stories, attending meetings and conferences, managing content and promoting upcoming events.
Zomaya has also had the opportunity to collaborate with professionals of all kinds and of different levels from all parts of Kentucky throughout the internship. Although these leaders and innovators are different in their own unique ways, one thing that unites them is their shared passion for shaping the Appalachian region.
While many people credit the region for its beauty, Zomaya acknowledges a different beauty that can be found in the region and that is in the people.
“Eastern Kentucky is not just a beautiful place," Zomaya said. "It contains beautiful people.”
Zomaya says her previous internship with “It's Good to Be Young in the Mountains,” primed her for her current internship in which she has learned the importance of networking.
Zomaya is currently working to promote the upcoming 29th annual East Kentucky Leadership Foundation Conference this spring at Morehead State University. Zomaya will be a part of the EKU Public Relations team that has provided coverage for the conference for the past two years.
Zomaya says she is excited for the changes that are already shaping the region and can see the future when Appalachia and its people will gain traction in the early stages of their growth toward a flourishing ecosystem. For the past three years, these groups of visionaries-like Annie-have worked and continue to work diligently to bring about change to the region through innovation through socioeconomic, educational, health, and entrepreneurial avenues. Through these avenues, the SOAR program seeks to create various opportunities for the Appalachian people, furthermore creating a thriving ecosystem to these impoverished regions.
Annie says to be a part of a group of people who are collaborating to bring about such changes is thrilling in and of itself and has been one of the most rewarding aspects of her time with SOAR.
“I like meeting like-minded people,” Zomaya said. "More so than just shaping the region is the people, who are at the heart of what they are coming together to help and to enhance."
“The reason why I’m so passionate about Appalachian activism is that once I see the beauty of the region and its people, [it gives] me a drive to build a better Appalachia.” Annie is grateful for the opportunity to be instrumental in changing people’s lives with these “like-minded” people- by improving the quality of life for others around them- and seeing how that, as result, is shaping our Appalachian region.
Published on April 12, 2016