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2024 Policy & Nonprofit Leadership Interns Selected

SHECP is pleased to announce the selection of this year's interns for the Policy & Nonprofit Leadership Internship program. These internships offer a unique opportunity for undergraduate students to gain experience in public policy and nonprofit leadership while addressing issues of poverty in communities. This program, which is intended for students who have finished a prior SHECP internship, is tailored to expand upon the foundation established by the consortium's standard client-facing internships. Interns obtain a greater understanding of the dynamics of organizational leadership and the creation of successful anti-poverty policies by drawing on their direct experiences, insights from courses, and contacts with community partners involved in anti-poverty activities. The program includes networking opportunities, workshops, mentoring from experienced professionals in the field, and presenting at the SHECP Annual Conference.

The following students were selected as SHECP’s 2024 Policy & Nonprofit Leadership interns:

  • Maria Elkins, an Education Studies and Child and Family Studies major at Berea College, will be working as a Policy Intern with the National Community Action Foundation (NCAF). Elkins will conduct research and prepare written products that support NCAF's legislative initiatives that support and advance the work of Community Action Agencies such as the Community Services Block Grant, Weatherization Assistance Program, and the Social Determinants of Health.

  • Avani Kashyap, a Biochemistry major and Poverty & Human Capability Studies minor at Washington and Lee University, will be an Economic Security Analyst with the United Planning Organization (UPO). Avani will conduct research to assess the economic security of D.C. residents working at low wages and make recommendations for policies to support them. 

  • Claire Yang, a Statistics and Sociology major at Middlebury College, will be working as a Rural Policy Intern at The Brookings Institution to shape the policy debate around global economic cooperation and fight global poverty and sources of social stress. Claire will gain exposure to a broad set of policy topics related to domestic federal policy and international development and support the Reimagine Rural podcast.

"We are delighted to welcome these talented and dedicated interns to the second year of the Policy & Nonprofit Leadership Internship program," said Jen Handy, Associate Director of SHECP. "Last year’s interns had an incredible summer of deepening their experience in the field and receiving valuable mentorship, and we are thrilled to return to D.C. again this year.  This program is designed to equip the next generation of leaders with the skills and experience they need to tackle complex social problems like poverty and to help them discern their vocations. We are grateful for agency partners welcoming these interns and providing valuable mentorship. I look forward to attending the interns’ presentations at the Annual Conference to learn how these experiences have shaped their future trajectories."

Jana Hulsey, 2023 PNPL intern, commented at the Annual Conference, "SHECP opened a door [at Brookings] that I don’t think I could have opened myself or, at least a door I didn't know I could open." She also emphasized the unique nature of the skills and relationships she acquired last summer, stating, "the opportunity to work in D.C. with people who possess deep knowledge and empathy towards important poverty-related issues is invaluable."

The Policy & Nonprofit Leadership Internship program will run concurrently with the SHECP Summer Internship Program, from the beginning of June to the end of July. At the end of the program, interns will have the opportunity to present their research and reflections at the SHECP Annual Conference in Atlanta . This new program has been made possible by funding from the Middlebury Conflict Transformation Collaborative. For more information about the Policy & Nonprofit Leadership Internship, visit:


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