Two W&L Students Selected for Internships with the Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty Jana Hulsey ’25 and Jalen Todd ’25 will work with programs in Washington, D.C. for eight weeks over the summer.
The Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty (SHECP) recently announced that Washington and Lee University students Jana Hulsey ’25 and Jalen Todd ’25 were among the three students selected for its new Policy & Nonprofit Leadership Internship program.
The internship, which provides a $2,800 living stipend, a travel stipend and housing for the eight-week program that runs from June 5 to July 29 in Washington, D.C., is designed to offer undergraduate students experience in public policy and nonprofit leadership while addressing issues of poverty in communities. The program includes networking opportunities, workshops, seminars and mentoring from experienced professionals in the field. Interns are expected to work 35-40 hours per week, along with presenting their research and reflections at the SHECP Annual Conference in Atlanta, Georgia on July 28-29.
“We are thrilled to welcome these talented and dedicated interns to the Policy & Nonprofit Leadership Internship program,” said W&L Professor of Economics Tim Diette, the SHECP executive director. “This program is designed to equip the next generation of leaders with the skills and experience they need to tackle complex social problems like poverty and to help them discern their vocations.”
A native of Haines City, Florida, Hulsey is a QuestBridge Scholar majoring in economics with a minor in poverty and human capability studies. She will be a rural policy intern with The Brookings Institution’s Global program, an initiative that aims to shape the policy debate to improve global economic cooperation and fight global poverty and sources of social stress. Hulsey will be supporting the effort to inform federal policies that promote prosperity and equity for America’s rural communities and Native American nations.
“I am excited to intern at the Brookings Institution this summer,” Hulsey said. “Being a student at Washington and Lee and having the ability to intern with SHECP means quite a bit to me because I’ve been able to explore so many different fields thus far. I interned with a public defender’s office last summer, and now I will understand how research works outside of class work. I hope to gain an understanding of the process of policy analysis to see if it’s something I would like to pursue after W&L. I also hope to build upon my understanding of U.S. federal policy and use the knowledge I gained last summer to inform my experience.”
Todd is a cognitive and behavioral sciences major with a minor in poverty and human capability. The Louisville, Kentucky native will be working as a policy intern with the National Community Action Foundation (NCAF) where he will research a broad range of issues facing NCAF’s Community Action Agencies. These topics may include the Community Services Block Grant, Weatherization Assistance Program, Rural Broadband Expansion, Environmental Justice, Community Financial Development Institutions and Social Determinants of Health.
“Being selected for an opportunity that will prepare me for my future endeavors in law is something I am truly grateful for,” Todd said. “The experience to work for a prestigious organization like the NCAF offers me perspective on what it takes to effectively enact reform within policymaking and impact a respectable change on the individual level. Additionally, the NCAF aligns with my personal values in projecting the voices and accommodating the needs of society’s most vulnerable. Because I will play a direct role in this work toward equality, this experience will truly be fulfilling and meaningful to me.”
The SHECP encourages 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. Through its programs, SHECP and its member institutions prepare students for a lifetime of professional and civic efforts to diminish poverty and enhance human capability, while also supporting connections among students, faculty, staff, and alumni engaged in the study of poverty.
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