The Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty (SHECP) will add Shamokin, Pennsylvania, to the growing number of communities benefiting from the SHECP Summer Internship Program this summer. The eight-week program pairs students with municipal and nonprofit organizations that work to strengthen impoverished communities.
“I am particularly excited about the opportunity afforded to serve Shamokin and surrounding region. The unique challenges and opportunities to make a difference are clear and I’m hopeful that our first year will make a large impact.” said Dr. Brett Morash, SHECP executive director.
SHECP is a collaboration among 26 colleges and universities that integrates classroom study of poverty with summer internships and co-curricular activities. Students are matched with agencies that fit their intellectual interests in order to develop professional experience and skills for future civic involvement and employment. Last summer, SHECP interns provided more than 36,400 hours of service to 96 agencies, in 21 different geographic locations.
SHECP has already partnered with several local agencies, including Central Susquehanna Opportunities, the City of Shamokin, North Penn Legal Services–Sunbury, the Shamokin Area School District, and Shamokin Police Department. Unique to typical SHECP partnerships is that the internships are more oriented toward city services.
“It’s very early yet, but Shamokin could become a model for how cities and government services—not just nonprofits—can contribute to antipoverty work,” said Dr. Stephanie Rolph, SHECP academic director. “It certainly underscores the need for all hands on deck.”
SHECP was aided in its efforts by Friar Michael Lasky, a Franciscan, whose community members have care of the local Catholic churches.
“A couple of years ago the friars decided to be proactive in engaging poverty issues by animating and organizing the local community in various sustainable development initiatives. From the beginning we hoped to partner with SHECP,” said Lasky.
SHECP covers the expenses of the interns, affording the local organizations the benefit of summer labor at no cost. Housing will be provided at the Franciscan Center, where the interns will live modestly as a cohort.
To learn more about SHECP and how you can support its mission to transform poverty studies, visit shepherdconsortium.org.
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 follow us on Twitter at @TheSHECP.