Winthrop lands program to groom civic leaders

Winthrop University has landed a program it hopes will help mold future civic leaders.

The Rock Hill university will use a $25,000 grant to launch the John C. West Forum on Politics and Policy.

Forum leaders plan to use the money to hold campus activities, arrange political internships and bring speakers to campus.

Organizers will spend several months shifting the forum over from its current location at the University of South Carolina in Columbia. Then they will focus on programs.

"What we're hoping to do," said forum director Karen Kedrowski, "is to bring in a major speaker whose focus is community activism."

Kedrowski, who chairs Winthrop's political science department, said the school is negotiating with Fort Mill town officials to arrange a spring internship for students.

Trip destinations and speakers depend on whether the grant will be renewed.

University officials said they see the forum as a way to create future S.C. leaders.