Students at Franklin & Marshall College will get back to work in classrooms and laboratories throughout campus when the new academic year kicks off Aug. 29. With support from the James Hale Steinman Foundation, some of them will also get to work on social issues in the Lancaster community.
The College received a two-year, $100,000 grant from the Steinman Foundation in July to create F&M Works in Lancaster, a pilot program that enables F&M students to participate in paid internships with local nonprofit organizations at no cost to the organizations. Spearheaded by F&M's Ware Institute for Civic Engagement, the initiative formally launches Sept. 17, when 20 students begin 24-week Steinman Internships in the fields of business development, communications, public health, refugee resettlement, social services and education. F&M sophomores, juniors and seniors are eligible to apply for the program before Aug. 29.
The Ware Institute collaborated with F&M's Office of the President, Office of Student and Post-Graduate Development, Office of Financial Aid and other groups on campus to develop the program over the summer.
"I'm proud that F&M students who are passionate about social issues such as literacy, public health, attainment of college degrees and refugee resettlement services will partner with local organizations actively working to address these issues in the Lancaster community," Franklin & Marshall President Daniel R. Porterfield said. "F&M Works in Lancaster provides students a distinctive opportunity for service while gaining professional skills. We're grateful to the James Hale Steinman Foundation for its investment in the lives of F&M students, and to our community partners for their support of this exciting partnership."
A wide range of local organizations have submitted requests to participate in the program, including Lancaster General Health, Church World Service, Community First Fund, Domestic Violence Services and the School District of Lancaster. The complete list of internship opportunities is available online.
F&M Works in Lancaster is ideal for students who have been awarded work-study as part of their financial aid package at F&M, but all sophomores, juniors and seniors are eligible to apply, said Susan Dicklitch, professor of government and director of the Ware Institute. Federal work-study funds will cover a portion of the cost of the program for those on financial aid.
"F&M Works in Lancaster was developed with a focus on a sustainable, long-term engagement between F&M and the Lancaster community," Dicklitch said. "The program is perfect for students who want to engage in meaningful work that adds a real-world dimension to their classroom learning and helps them prepare for life after college."
The Ware Institute, which launched in 2000, recruits and serves hundreds of F&M students interested in community-based learning, K-12 tutoring or teaching, and community service. More than 75 percent of F&M students engage in some type of community service during their undergraduate years, and the Ware Institute sponsors or coordinates the majority of those opportunities.
Lisa Wolfe, associate director of the Ware Institute, coordinates the new internship program with Lilah Thompson '11, post-graduate fellow for human rights and social justice.
"We're excited that the program will allow F&M students to gain real-world skills and expose them to a professional work environment," Wolfe said. "And they'll be working on social issues facing both Lancaster and the United States."
The grant from the Steinman Foundation will support 40 internships for F&M students in the second year of the program.