The Columns

Grant Increases Internships in Arkansas Delta

— by on September 2nd, 2008

The Delta Bridge Project—a community-development initiative of Phillips County, along the Mississippi River in Arkansas, spearheaded by Southern Financial Partners—has awarded a $90,000, three-year grant to Washington and Lee’s Shepherd Poverty Alliance to form the Shepherd Delta Alliance.

The grant will fund 30 student internships over three years with a goal of directly benefiting up to 1,500 residents.

The Shepherd Poverty Alliance is a key component of W&L’s Shepherd Program for the Interdisciplinary Study of Poverty and Human Capability. Through the Alliance, students from W&L , Morehouse, Spelman, Berea, Middlebury and institutions participating in the Bonner Leader program spend eight summer weeks in internships with nonprofit organizations serving impoverished communities. The Alliance has partnerships with more than 60 agencies in 11 states.

The grant from the Delta Bridge Project will expand the Shepherd Alliance’s partnerships in the region and give new form and focus to the program’s commitment to Phillips County. Internships funded through this initiative will be specifically designed to address needs of community-based organizations in Phillips County. Corresponding to objectives identified in the county’s strategic plan, internships will emphasize work in economic development, housing, education, leadership development and health care.