16 July 2015 – Lexington, VA – The Charles A. Frueauff Foundation of Little Rock, Arkansas has pledged a substantial grant to the Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty (SHECP), a 20-member organization of colleges and universities that each integrate rigorous classroom study of poverty with tailored and focused summer internships and co-curricular activities during the academic year.
Since 1998, the Frueauff Foundation, whose mission it is “to improve the lives of those in need by awarding grants to non-profit organizations in the areas of education, human services, and health and hospitals,” has been pivotal in supporting the Shepherd Alliance internship program initiated by the Shepherd Program on Poverty at Washington and Lee University (W&L).
Harlan Beckley, founding director of the W&L Shepherd Program and executive director of SHECP notes that, “No foundation has had a more long-term and profound effect on the Shepherd Program and the Shepherd Alliance and Consortium. We would not exist in the same form had it not been for the steady, substantial, and judicious support of the Frueauff Foundation.”
The grant will help SHECP in a variety of ways, including supporting the Consortium’s 2015-16 operations, which will feature executing a strategic plan, schedule for approval at the Consortium’s August board meeting.
Since 1998, the Foundation has provided grants to support Shepherd Alliance interns from Berea College, Spelman College, Morehouse College, W&L, and other institutions.
Beginning in 2011, grants from the Foundation have supported conferences that bookend the student internship experience by providing an orientation for the work ahead and a summary conference for intern reports at the conclusion of the eight-week internships. These conferences are named for the Foundation, and are known as the Frueauff Opening Conference and the Frueauff Closing Conference for Intern Reports.
“These conferences are critical to the success of our students. They learn not only from leading thinkers and practitioners but also from fellow interns,” said W&L Associate Professor Howard Pickett, Ph. D., director of the W&L Shepherd Program. “Our students’ perspectives are broadened and their commitments deepened through these pre- and post-internship conferences.”
Additional annual grants from Frueauff are building an endowment that will provide financial support for these intern conferences in perpetuity.
Part of the new grant will supplement resources for the intern conferences as the program has grown larger over the years.
The remainder of the funds will help enable the Consortium to improve its programing and consulting with member schools, expand its office staff to meet the needs of an expanded intern program, and enhance governance required for steady expansion of membership and programs. SHECP will also be executing a transition in leadership seeking both greater stability and a more ambitious impact on higher education.
Fran Elrod, associate director of the W&L Shepherd Program and intern director of the Shepherd Alliance and Consortium since 2006 say, “In addition to Frueauff’s steadfast financial commitment to the success, the Foundation also takes a role in co-educating students interning in Arkansas. We are profoundly grateful for their support and encouragement.”