The Columns

Elrod Fellows Making a Difference

— by on February 23rd, 2012

Not that there was ever any doubt about its benefits, but it was nice to see a video mentioning Washington and Lee’s Elrod Fellows Program down in Houston. That’s where three of the fellows, all 2011 graduates of W&L, are program coordinators with Genesys Works, a non-profit that trains and employs disadvantaged high school students by enabling them to work in meaningful internships at major corporations during their senior year. The intent is to show the students that they can succeed as professionals in the corporate world.

The three Elrod Fellows as Genesys Works are Crystal Spencer, Marie Locke and Emily Darling. As program coordinators, they work with the students on gaining internships, assist with college applications and serve as liaisons between corporate supervisors and interns.

During a recent ceremony, one of the young interns cited Crystal during the course of her talk about what the program had meant to her. You can watch the moment below.

The competitive John and Mimi Elrod Fellowship connects recent graduates with innovative public-service organizations that address poverty and significant social issues in the fields of health care, law, education, economic development and housing. In addition to Houston, Washington and Lee alumni in Baltimore and Washington help develop and maintain relationships with partner organizations who hire program fellows in those cities. 

In Baltimore, Elsa Friis, of the Class of 2011, is a residential counselor at Boys Hope Girls Hope, living with and serving as a mentor to eight boys who will likely succeed in school and go to college thanks to the program. Other recent Elrod Fellows: Steph Schaefer, of the Class of 2010, with The Choice Program in Baltimore; Micaela Coffey, Class of 2009, Communities In Schools, and Stephanie Stelter, Class of 2009, YES Prep Public Schools, both in Houston; Class of 2010 graduates Maureen Ford, Carpenter’s Shelter; Roz Klann, BUILD; Megan Steinhardt, Septima Clark Public Charter School; and Michael White, Alliance for a Healthier Generation, all in Washington.