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.
Melding Medicine, Kids and Care: How Education, Introspection and Storytelling Can Transform Poverty
"My SHECP internship granted me the opportunity to witness what selfless means." Writes Collins. From a young age, I did not know what I wanted to be when I grew up, but I [...]
"While studying and discussing Daniel Moynihan’s “Culture of Poverty” in Washington and Lee Poverty 101 class, I asked myself 'Why is it that since desegregation, the urban community is in such decline?'" Writes Heron. [...]
"The experiences from that first Shepherd Alliance internship remain with me in many ways, shaping my career and beyond," writes Calix. Jasmine Calix graduated from Washington and Lee University in 2005 with a [...]
By Kara Karcher "In both my undergraduate work and my work as a bilingual teacher, I have seen the impact our country’s legal systems can have for better or worse on underrepresented populations," writes [...]