SHECP's 2020 Summer of Innovation

In light of the changes that COVID-19 catalyzed, Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty's leadership faced a major decision. Canceling the summer internships, which of course are a cornerstone of SHECP's programs and mission, was one option. Another possibility involved postponing accepted students' internships until the summer of 2021. A third and ultimately the most innovative response required SHECP to adapt its face-to-face conferences and internships to virtual environmentsCourageously and thoughtfully, SHECP's staff, community partners, member schools, alumni, as well as the current class of interns embraced the unknown and embarked upon a new chapter in the organization's evolution.

What has resulted from SHECP stakeholders' collaborative efforts and openness to change is truly remarkable. SHECP designed a robust academic program that is grounded in Scott Allard's book Places in Need: The Changing Geography of Poverty. Each week, volunteer mentors will meet virtually with a cohort of five to six interns. On three occasions in June and July, SHECP will host keynote events focused on community partners' work with the Navajo Nation, in Appalachia, and in Haiti. These virtual gatherings will serve to facilitate learning and build community. The summer program will conclude with a virtual, two-day Closing Conference. At this event, Scott Allard will host a final keynote presentation, interns' accomplishments will be recognized, and SHECP alumni will welcome their newest peers.

Of course, none of this work would be possible without the financial support of donors like you. Your investment in our mission, particularly at a time when the causes and consequences of poverty are so evident, is greatly appreciated. We thank you for contributing and welcome opportunities to connect with you again soon! 

All best wishes,

Jim Langford 

Executive Director 

Ph: 404-831-1959 

Email: [email protected] 

Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty (SHECP)


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