City of Columbia welcomes 2020 Summer Mayor’s Fellows

From City of Columbia, Mayor Steve Benjamin:

It is my pleasure to welcome the amazing group of young people who make up our selection of five students for the 2020 Summer Semester class of the City of Columbia Mayor’s Fellows program. Due to COVID-19, this summer’s fellows will be the first to conduct the fellowship virtually.

I launched the Mayor’s Fellows program when I first took office to foster a continuing investment in developing youth leadership, and the program has welcomed over 300 students to date.  The program is open to undergraduate, graduate, and professional students and provides an opportunity to actively participate in municipal government and gain first-hand knowledge of how a high-energy local government office operates. Responsibilities include assisting staff with research in various areas that may affect departments/agencies within the City of Columbia, helping with special projects and assisting with various office tasks.

The 2020 Summer Semester Fellows have taken to their duties with enthusiasm, working to quickly prepare an outreach statement on the recent racial justice marches and demonstrations, as well as taking part in our Disparity Health Committee strategic planning sessions.

The Summer 2020 Mayor’s Fellows are:


Arteria Gibson (Columbia, SC) is a sophomore Mass Communications major with a Business Administration minor at Claflin University. After graduation, Arteria plans to earn her master’s degree in Supply Chain Management. She hopes to contribute to the increasing amount of global supply chains by working as a Logistics Operations Manager in corporate America. Arteria is active in her community as well as on-campus,having hosted a variety of events including for the Mass Communication Society and Claflin’s Honors College. She was also a part of the Maccabee Task Force First Cohort Black Student Leader Trip to Israel, where she learned the global impact of anti-Semitism and experienced Israeli culture firsthand. She hopes that being a part of the Mayor’s Fellow program will expand her leadership abilities and help her understand the impact a municipal government has on our state and country. In her spare time, she loves to play volleyball, search for new recipes to cook with her family, and take on new DIY projects.


Kennedy Herndon (Spartanburg, SC) is a sophomore with a Political Science major and Leadership minor at Columbia College. After graduating, she plans to attend law school and become an attorney. During her time at Columbia College, she has become a member of a philanthropy and community engagement organization called P.L.A.C.E. Fellows, a Momentum Scholar, and a Pre-Law Society member. She also has the pleasure of working for The Shiver Group as an Administrative Assistant.  Through the Mayor’s Fellows Program, she hopes to strengthen her leadership abilities and gain knowledge in local government and policies that affect Columbia. She is grateful for the opportunity the Mayor’s Fellows gives young professionals who want to gain experience on a local level. In her spare time, she likes to paint, dabble in film photography, and spend time with her friends.


Dillon Stone (Columbia, SC) is a junior Public Relations major and Political Science minor at the University of South Carolina. He is a member of the university’s Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) Chapter and hopes to gain experience with public and political affairs communication over the course of the Mayor’s Fellows Program. After graduation, he hopes to work with government and political offices to make a positive impact within the local community. In his free time, he enjoys the outdoors as well as gardening.


Alexander “Alex” Hunter ​(Blythewood, SC) is a senior Public Health major with a Business Administration minor and an emphasis on Pre-Law at the University of South Carolina. After graduation in May 2021, he plans to attend law school to practice constitutional law at one of his dream law schools: UofSC Law, Duke Law, or Georgetown law. While at the University of South Carolina, he has served in many campus leadership style roles. He currently serves as the sitting chairmen for the Academics committee within UofSC Student Government Senate. He has also served on many committees within his fraternity, Tau Kappa Epsilon. He is excited and ready to get to work as a Mayor’s Fellow and gain the necessary experience working within local government to help him in his future career of law work. In his free time, he enjoys listening to music, spending time with friends, and traveling.


Emma White (Bluffton, SC) is a senior History and Political Science major and Spanish Language minor at the University of South Carolina. During her time at Uof SC, she has served on Student Government and the executive board of her pre-law fraternity, Phi Alpha Delta, as well as engaging in a funded research project investigating the impact of Cold War-era federal policies on her home state of South Carolina. She is particularly interested in the interaction of federal, state, and local government structures, which she hopes to witness firsthand through the Mayor’s Fellows Program. After graduating in May 2021, she plans to attend law school. In her free time, she enjoys making playlists and watching classical ballet.

Students that are interested in applying for the Mayor’s Fellows program or would like additional information can access the program online HERE.  For any questions regarding the program, please contact Ariel Cathcart at 803-545-4189 or [email protected].

We look forward to the work they will do on behalf of the City of Columbia throughout this year, as well as the energy and insights that come from the power of youth.

With my best wishes,


Mayor Steve Benjamin