F&M Works, a pilot program run by the Ware Institute for Civic Engagement, kicks off this year.
Students chosen to participate in this program will work 10 hours a week at different non-profit organizations throughout Lancaster. The participants will be paid by F&M.
Lisa Wolfe, associate director of The Ware Institute for Civic Engagement, believes students need internships, and considers this is a great way to gain experience.
“It’s a great opportunity for our students, but it’s also a way for us to support the community,” Wolfe said.
Lilah Thompson ’11, post-graduate fellow for human rights and social justice, agrees that this program will be mutually beneficial for the school and the community.
“It’s a great way [for students] to synthesize their skills and strengths into an environment where there is a need for help, assistance, or support,” Thompson said.
Through a 100,000 dollar grant from the James Hale Steinman Foundation, the Ware Institute was able to implement this two-year program. This year, the Institute intends to employ 20 F&M students in the program.
“Students can do real work,” Thompson said. “They can take on large projects and invest in an organization in a meaningful way that develops their strengths while also benefitting our community.”
Wolfe also believes that the skills students acquire through the program will be applicable for the rest of their lives.
“F&M students will gain valuable experience, such as participation in a professional office environment on a regular basis,” Wolfe said. “It’s going to enable them to take the knowledge they gain from all the their classes and apply it in a real world setting.”
To publicize the program, the Institute utilized email and social media, as well as word of mouth. They recruited students from the Public Service Summer Internship (PSSI), also run by the Ware Institute. F&M Works is modeled after this program, which places students with a non-profit organization in the community in areas such as social justice, environmental conservation, and the arts during the summer.
Like PSSI, F&M Works only accepted applications from sophomores, juniors, and seniors, because they wanted students who have begun to think about what they may want to do as a possible career. The Institute is committed to giving participating organizations the strongest candidates.
The Institute will take work-study awards into consideration for admission into the program. Of the 20 students selected for F&M Works, at least half will be those who have received work study as part of their financial aid package from the College.
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