Mayor Benjamin welcomes 2019 Summer Mayor’s Fellows
Jun 12, 2019

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin welcomes nine students to the 2019 Summer Semester class of the Mayor’s Fellows program.


Upon taking office, Mayor Benjamin launched the program that has welcomed over 300 students to date. It is open to undergraduate, graduate, and professional students and provides an opportunity to actively participate in the municipal government process.


Students that are interested in applying or would like additional information can access the program online https://www.columbiasc.net/mayor/get-involved/mayors-fellows. For any questions regarding the program, please contact Ariel Cathcart at 803-545-4189 or ariel.cathcart@columbiasc.gov


The Summer 2019 Mayor’s Fellows are:


Travon Adams (Sumter, SC) is an Army veteran of Iraq and graduating senior at the University of South Carolina majoring in Political Science and minoring in Philosophy. After graduation, he would like to pursue his Master’s in Public Administration. Travon joined the Mayor’s Fellows program because he plans to pursue a career in political campaigning, political consulting, and eventually, local politics. The Mayor’s Fellows program will provide him ample opportunity to learn the inner workings of local politics and serve the community.


Adam Gainey (Columbia, SC) is a senior Psychology major and Business Administration minor at the University of South Carolina. After graduation, he plans to go serve in a third-world country for 2 years before returning back to the University of South Carolina to pursue a Doctorate in Clinical Community Psychology. Adam is grateful for the chance to be a Mayor’s Fellow because he views the program as an opportunity to gain insight on how city government operates. He hopes to connect with people that are as passionate about enacting change in the community as he is. Whenever possible, Adam enjoys spending time at the beach, listening to good music, and reading nonfiction books.


Emily Gayle (Blythewood, SC) is a junior at the University of Georgia studying International Affairs. After graduation, she plans to pursue a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and aspires to work under government consultation for private sector firms. Emily is excited about the Mayor’s Fellows program as it will expose her to the atmosphere of municipal government, and will allow her to better understand the community of the city of Columbia. Outside of school and work, Emily enjoys working with student organizations on campus, the company of her friends and family, and playing the handbells with her church handbell choir.  


Jamal Gibbs (Orangeburg, SC) is a junior at Allen University in Columbia, South Carolina studying Business Organization Management with a minor in English. After graduation, he plans to continue his education at the University of South Carolina in Business Administration. He is a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc., from which he brings his scholarships, brotherhood and service. Jamal is also a part of the NAACP (National Association for The Advancement of Colored People). His networking skills and consistency led him to the Mayor's Fellows program. Jamal plans to use what he learns from the program to open a small business and hopefully enter into a career of helping the community. Additionally, his hobbies include, traveling, exercising, wrestling, and volunteering.


Zachary Laprise (Newberry, SC) is a sophomore Political Science major at the University of South Carolina. After graduation, Zach plans to work in environmental advocacy and policy before attending law school. After law school, he would like to get involved in politics in South Carolina in addition to pursuing his entrepreneurial interests. The Mayor’s Fellows program will provide him a unique perspective on the functioning of municipal government as well as an opportunity to help make Columbia a more sustainable and livable city. Zach enjoys reading, writing, cycling, and discussing current affairs with family and friends during his free time.


Grace Mickle (Columbia, SC) is a junior in the Honors Program at the University of Georgia. She is majoring in Communication Studies with a minor in Spanish. After graduation, Grace plans to attend law school. She is honored to be a part of the Mayor’s Fellows program. The Mayor’s Fellows program will expose her to the inner workings of government and enhance her service to the Columbia community. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, sports, and spending quality time with friends and family.


Montrey Moultrie (Columbia, SC) is a senior Psychology major at Benedict College. Upon graduating, Montrey plans to continue his post-secondary education by attaining his Master’s Degree in Developmental Psychology, with the intentions of pursuing a career in guidance counseling among adolescents in school districts. He is grateful to be a part of the Mayor’s Fellows program as he aspires to gain knowledge of government operations and what pushes those individuals in higher positions of office to make certain decisions. In his free time, Montrey loves to read, write poetry, play basketball, and spend time with family and friends.


David Olds (High Point, NC) is a sophomore International Studies major at the University of South Carolina, also pursuing minors in Business Administration and French. Currently a student-athlete for the track and field team at the university, David balances his time at track practice, his studies, and his work as the Director of the City Advocacy Commission for his university’s student government. David sees the Mayor’s Fellows Program as a chance to expand his leadership skills and further his passion for serving his community by exploring the avenues available through the program.


Raven Williams (Sumter, SC), is a Senior Public Health major, with a Psychology minor at the University of South Carolina. Raven sees the Mayor’s Fellows program as an opportunity to gain firsthand knowledge about how our local government operates. She hopes to use this experience as a way to find out what future career path she plans on taking after college. Raven spends her free time hanging out with friends and family, and shopping.

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