The success of a civic engagement program that provides internships for Franklin & Marshall students and benefits the broader Lancaster community has inspired the Steinman Foundation to strengthen its support for the initiative over the long term.
The foundation recently awarded the College $500,000 to deepen the impact of F&M Works, a program of the Ware Institute for Civic Engagement that enables selected sophomores, juniors and seniors to participate in paid internships with local nonprofit organizations in Lancaster. Introduced as a pilot program in 2012 thanks to an initial $100,000 gift from the Steinman Foundation, F&M Works has matched an average of 30 students per year with internships that have helped more than 40 Lancaster nonprofits build their capacity to deliver on their missions. The program has also helped solidify a sustainable, long-term connection between F&M and the Lancaster community.
“I’m inspired by the Steinman Foundation’s strong support for F&M students’ intellectual curiosity and passion for civic engagement, the strategic priorities of our College, the needs of the Lancaster community, and the missions of the nonprofit partners with whom our students work,” said Franklin & Marshall President Daniel R. Porterfield. “We’re grateful to the foundation for its investment in the lives of students and to our community partners for their collaboration in this exciting partnership. We’re eager to continue working with the foundation to sustain the impressively multifaceted impact of F&M Works in Lancaster over the long term.”
Beverly “Peggy” Steinman, a former F&M trustee and longtime director of Steinman Communications, is impressed by the impact F&M Works in Lancaster has had on the local community and F&M students.
“This is a wonderful partnership for everyone involved because it’s a dual project,” Steinman said. “It’s great for F&M students to have an opportunity to gain experience at nonprofits, and terrific for the organizations themselves to have students working on issues important to all of us in the community.”
The internships are designed to deepen students’ curiosity about issues in the community and the successes and challenges of local, regional and national efforts to address them. They also encourage students to play active roles in both the short- and long-term solutions.
Mawupemor Kofi Alorzuke ’16, an economics and business double major from Ghana, worked as a Steinman Intern at ASSETS Lancaster, which provides resources for small and new businesses to thrive locally, and the Lancaster Housing Opportunity Partnership (LHOP), which organizes critical neighborhood revitalizations.
“F&M Works allowed me to learn about a systems-level approach to solving community-wide issues,” Alorzuke said. “I hope to use these experiences to help improve economic conditions in my hometown in Ghana.”
While ASSETS and LHOP share a commitment to economic and community development, other nonprofits affiliated with F&M Works relate to public health, youth development, poverty, hunger, refugee resettlement, land preservation, arts and culture, and homelessness.
“F&M Works brings the benefits of a liberal arts education into sharp focus for many of our students—more than 100 over the past several years,” said Margaret Hazlett, dean of the College. “The opportunity to make connections between academic, leadership and other social skills in order to achieve good outcomes for our local community speaks to the interdisciplinary nature of what we do here at F&M.”
The Steinman Foundation was created in 2014 by the merger of the The John Frederick Steinman and James Hale Steinman Foundations, which were established in 1951 to support citizens and organizations of Lancaster County. The Steinman family has provided generous support to F&M for numerous projects through the years, including the Steinman College Center, Barshinger Life Sciences & Philosophy Building, Steinman Plant Growth Facility, among others. Hale Krasne, current Steinman Foundation director, sits on F&M’s Board of Trustees.
Franklin & Marshall College’s Ware Institute for Civic Engagement provides students with a variety of opportunities to explore what it means to be a thoughtful and active member of a community by meeting them where they are in their own development of sense of self and challenging them to make a difference. F&M Works in Lancaster is one example of the variety of programs by which the Ware Institute connects F&M students with opportunities to learn through service while working in partnership with the Lancaster community.