Alumni Essays

Alumni Essays 2015-10-22T20:54:06+00:00

These “alumni essays” (approximately 100) were written by a few upper-level students and mostly alumnae and alumni of internships and/or coursework (mostly both) from the 22 Shepherd Consortium member schools.  Fewer than 200 students from among over 1,100 Shepherd Consortium interns since 1998 were invited to write.  Over half of those invited voluntarily devoted 5 to 8 hours composing and editing their essays to answer the question: How did poverty studies at my school and with the Shepherd internship program inform and shape my professional development and civic initiatives?  The essayists vary in their professional interests.  They include health professionals, educators, lawyers, business persons, non-profit entrepreneurs, community organizers, policy specialists, academics, ministers, and even few social workers.   Each of them writes about how her or his professional and civic life does and will address poverty.

Many of the essayists are graduates of Washington and Lee University and a considerable number from Berea College. These two schools have been involved in a joint internship program since 1998 and from the beginning of its program, Washington and Lee offered courses especially designed to address poverty.  All of the current member schools offer both coursework and the internship.  Many of them joined the poverty studies program subsequent to 2012 when the Shepherd Higher Education on Consortium on Poverty became a 501-c-3.  As students from these schools graduate and take their positions in the labor force and civic affairs, more and more of them will have their own story to tell. 

Please enjoy a sampling of these penetrating and appreciative essays. They reveal what sustained coursework and community engagement focused on poverty can achieve in informing and influence the professional and civic lives of graduates.


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