Do I need to have taken a Poverty Studies course to be eligible?
Students should have some previous academic knowledge of the complexities of poverty and the diversity of experiences that it creates.  Contact your school’s internship director to find out what classes are available. Contact information for internship directors can be found at

How am I matched with an agency?
SHECP partners with more than 100 agencies more than 15 cities and towns in the U.S. to develop internship placements that benefit the student and the agency. The matching process begins with the written application and personal interview at the college. Once accepted, the students registers as an intern and this is followed by a conversation with the SHECP Internship Director to discuss the various options that could meet the intern’s goals and SHECP’s commitments.  It is a collaborative process that seeks to align student interests with the needs of the agency and SHECP’s commitments. The student and the supervisor must both confirm the match after a phone conversation before the match is confirmed.

Do I get paid for my work?
SHECP covers the cost of housing for interns (see below).  Because part of the SHECP experience is its commitment to living in the communities where interns serve, in addition to housing, SHECP provide interns a modest check towards the costs of commuting via public transportation and groceries during the internship (Berea and Middlebury make other arrangements with their students.  Checks vary depending on geographic location, and the cost-of-living and public transportation.  Interns in most locations receive the base rate of $816 (or $14.80 per day).  We ask that you to the opportunity to abide by amount for your summer living expenses. You will not be paid by your agency for your work, or receive any additional compensation beyond the initial check. SHECP interns are encouraged to implement practical budget strategies, collaborate with their cohort to plan meals and shopping, and seek out free activities in their communities.

Where will I stay?
You will be living with other SHECP interns. The housing will be organized and paid for by SHECP, and it varies from city to city. Interns live in dormitories, apartments, houses, and other settings.  SHECP arranges housing with the safety of the students, distance to work, and budget in mind.

How long is my commute?
Commuting distance varies by internship, but most all will be via public transportation. We seek to limit commuting to 60-minutes each way. However, some placements, often in New York and Atlanta, can be upwards of 75-minutes each way.  In some locations, however, commutes may require just a walk or a bike ride.  Whatever the distance, the commute will be an opportunity for learning about the community.

Do I need a car to be a SHECP intern?
No.  We discourage students from using a vehicle. Most internships are available via public transportation, however there are a few that do require a vehicle.  In those cases, the intern must have a vehicle at their disposal to be matched with the internship.  In the past, we have relied on student drivers and carpooling, however, this is no longer the case.

If a car is mandated by the internship, it is stated in the internship description, and it will be addressed in the matching email sent by SHECP.  In those rare cases, SHECP can reimburse the student for parking at the housing location and for mileage ($0.375 per mile) to drive from the opening conference to the internship and from the internship to the closing conference.  Students must clarify with the supervisor whether or not the agency will provide parking at work and reimburse for mileage for miles driven for the agency.  SHECP does not reimburse for this.

If it is not stated in the internship description that a car is required, and yet chooses to bring a car, they must notify Amy DeHart in writing by May 1.   In this case, the student driver is responsible for all gas and other car expenses, including parking at the internship housing and at work.  SHECP may not coordinate student riders.

How will I get from the Opening Conference to my internship housing? SHECP arrange travel for interns from the Opening Conference to the internship housing, and then to the Closing Conference at the end of the internship.  Most interns will ride a bus, however, students traveling more than eight hours, will take a train or airplane. (Students must cover the costs of getting to the Opening Conference and from the Closing Conference to their next destination.)

What else am I required to do in addition to the eight-week internship?
All interns participate in a two-day opening conference and a two-day closing conference.  The opening conference is very important to preparation for the internship, including the work with the agency and living with a cohort.  The closing conference is essential to processing the internship experience and presenting to other interns and faculty what you have learned during the internship.  Additionally, all interns participate in a mid-summer meeting with SHECP staff or representatives to report on what you are learning.  These meetings are important to make the most of the final weeks of the internship and preparing for your reflections at the closing conference.  We encourage all students to journal during the summer and to write an essay at the conclusion. SHECP Academic Director will work with the student on the essay development and selected essays will be published on the SHECP web iste.

In what locations does SHECP offer internships?
We anticipate offering rural and urban placements in areas including: Atlanta, GA; Austin, TX; Baltimore, MD; Boston, MA; Burlington, VT; Camden, NJ; Cleveland, OH; Charleston, WV; Chester, PA; Greensboro, NC; Helena-West Helena, AR; Jackson, MS; Louisville, KY; New York, NY; Poughkeepsie, NY; Richmond, VA; Roanoke, VA; Savannah, GA; Shamokin, PA; and Washington, DC.

UPDATED September 30, 2019