top of page

H.F. Lenfest Fund Awards $250,000 Grant to SHECP

LEXINGTON, Va., May 1, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — The Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty (SHECP) is proud to announce our largest single grant award of $250,000 from the H.F. Lenfest Fund of The Philadelphia Foundation following a recommendation by Mr. H.F. Lenfest. Founded in 2000, Gerry and Marguerite Lenfest established the H.F. Lenfest Fund with the objective of building “self-sufficiency through education.” We at SHECP are proud to be the recipients of their philanthropy.

Dr. Brett Morash, SHECP’s Executive Director, said, “The power of SHECP is directly tied to the impact that the students of today will have in their future working lives. The consortium model fosters a unity of effort across institutions of higher learning that prepares our students to make an impact diminishing poverty in the United States. This grant will enhance our ability to increase our operational capability and capacity to further our mission.”

SHECP Intern Bri Belz volunteering in the dental clinic at the Wise County Remote Area Medical in July. Bri interned with the Currier Program with Frontier Nursing University, primarily in Kentucky.

This grant award will be integral to enriching SHECP’s unique interdisciplinary approach to poverty studies and antipoverty work and allow us to expand it. SHECP’s Founder and former Executive Director Dr. Harlan Beckley stated, “This grant from the Lenfest Fund will ensure short-term stability and support growth and long-term viability for the current 26-member Consortium. We are indebted to Gerry and Marguerite Lenfest as well as to Brett Morash.” Nancy Shepherd, the wife of the late Tom Shepherd who with Harlan Beckley was an early supporter of SHECP, said, “I know that my husband would have been delighted to hear the news as well and would want his thanks included. The work of the Consortium meant a great deal to him and continues to inspire the next generation committed to diminishing poverty through their work and civic activity.”

This grant enhances the Consortium’s ability to work cooperatively to strengthen our programs, and we invite others to join us to create a national movement that will lead to thousands of graduates each year informed about the causes and remedies of poverty and ready to diminish it through professional, civic, and political engagement. Our network of alumni clearly reveals that the day to day efforts of the nation’s health care professionals, lawyers, business people, educators, ministers, and community development specialists, as well as public policy experts and social workers, intersect with poverty in critical ways. We believe that SHECP is an integral part of that way ahead. It supports Tom Shepherd’s dream of an “army” of graduates focused on diminishing poverty throughout their lifetimes.

For more information please contact Dr. Brett Morash, Executive Director, 914-563-4217 or

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.


bottom of page