ARLINGTON, VA.—Representative Jim McGovern of Massachusetts was the keynote speaker at the Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty’s 2018 Frueauff Opening Conference, at Marymount University, June 8.
There, more than 130 interns, faculty advisors and ambassadors listened to the ranking member of the House Rules Committee, and founder and co-chair of the House Hunger Caucus, share his views on poverty, hunger and solutions to address these issues.
“It was an inspiration to hear from such bright and talented students about their commitment to tackling poverty in America,” said Congressman McGovern. “I’m grateful these young leaders are stepping up to build a future where everyone is valued and no one is left behind, and proud of everything they’re doing to make a positive difference in communities across our country.”
McGovern remarked that “budgets are moral documents” and that tackling poverty is not a political issue, but rather a matter of values. He encouraged the students to treat everyone with dignity and respect, adding that if “we do this right, we’re all going to do better.” To emphasize his point, he shared the story of a family he met in Colombia. Because of a U.S. government-funded food program, a mother was grateful that her son did not have to join warring paramilitary groups to survive.
Beyond his remarks, McGovern took questions from the interns.
“How do you navigate your passion with self-care?” asked one student—an important topic, considering that the interns will spend the next eight weeks working at nonprofits in cities across the country. McGovern shared that he finds solace from the grind of Washington by going to his favorite coffee shop back home to simply meet and talk with others.
“We can’t thank Congressman McGovern enough for taking the time to not only share his views but to truly engage with and inspire our interns,” said Dr. Brett Morash, SHECP executive director. “By being here, the congressman demonstrated to these young adults that they can make an impact through their actions. The congressman is advocating for programs that continue to have both a national and international impact on improving safety and security.”
Before leaving, McGovern left the SHECP interns with the following charge: “You’re already leaders. I’m looking for you to step up.”
About the Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty: The Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty (SHECP), is a consortium of colleges and universities that are committed to the study of poverty as a complex social problem, by expanding and improving educational opportunities for college students in a wide range of disciplines and career trajectories. SHECP institutions support undergraduates toward a lifetime of professional and civil efforts to diminish poverty and enhance human capability. For more information, please visit ShepherdConsortium.org, or visit us on Twitter at @TheSHECP.