The Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty (SHECP) has received another matching grant from The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation to support its summer internship program benefitting agencies working with impoverished communities and individuals in the District of Columbia. The Shepherd Internship Program and its predecessor, the Shepherd Alliance internship program administered by Washington and Lee University, have benefitted from long-time support from The Cafritz Foundation, enabling member schools to support interns working eight weeks full time during the summer months.
Since the summer internship program began in 1998, approximately 150 interns have completed assignments with District agencies. The 17 interns in 2015 are affiliated with Bread for the City, the Public Defender Service of the District of Columbia, Jubilee Jobs, Life Pieces to Masterpieces, LIFT, N Street Village, the National Juvenile Defenders Center, So Others Might Eat health clinic, the United Planning Organization, and Washington Jesuit Academy. These 17 students from nine schools are among 94 SHECP interns from 19 schools working with a variety of agencies across the nation.
“The Cafritz Foundation has been among a few highly generous foundations that have enabled Shepherd Alliance and Shepherd Consortium interns to expand service to agencies while they receive an education that propels them to similarly influential work for a lifetime,” said Harlan Beckley, Executive Director of the Shepherd Consortium. “The Cafritz Foundation has allowed us to have the largest contingency of interns in Washington year after year than in any other city in the United States.”
The long-term goal for Shepherd Consortium interns is to benefit from sustained poverty studies so that as graduates their professional work and civic initiatives—whether in business, community organizing, education, healthcare, law, public policy or various kinds of ministry—will diminish the poverty that persists in the United States, including the District of the Columbia. Many SHECP interns who serve in the District have and will continue to return to Washington for their education and work. Their benefits to the city do not end with their internship. The Cafritz grant continues to benefit the interns—and Washington—long after their service as interns is complete.