Following on the success of last year's new Sustainability Fellows program, Davidson this summer is launching four other programs to help students "transition to impact" from campus life to careers of making a positive difference in the wider world. With support of alumni and other friends of the college as donors, mentors and employers, Davidson has arranged internships this summer for almost 50 current students and May graduates.
Eight underclass students are participating in the second edition of the Sustainability Fellows program. The other are enrolled in new programs as Education Scholars, Entrepreneurial Interns, Venture Lab Interns, and Davidson Impact Fellows.
"These programs aren't primarily about finding jobs for graduates," said Jeff Kniple, Associate Director for Employer Relations in the Center for Career Development. "We're really asking students to take the knowledge and experiences that they have accumulated through their Davidson College education and use them not just for personal gain, but for the good of all."
The program gives new graduates an opportunity to work directly with high-level leaders in non-profit agencies. The experience will help fellows develop their understanding of the challenges and efforts that are a part of social change. President Carol Quillen said, "The program will enable graduates to put their education into practice, undertaking significant projects for effective organizations that are making a difference in our community, nation and world."
Some of the organizations sponsoring Davidson Impact Fellows are the Catawba Lands Conservancy, Foundation for the Carolinas, Fundación Haciendas Del Mundo Maya (a regional development organization in Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula), the Georgia Justice Project, Teach for America in Charlotte, and the Touch Foundation in New York City (brings healthcare services to people in sub-Saharan Africa).
One student will work in the Belk Foundation and International House to create a plan for supporting children of non-English speaking families to succeed in the public school system. Another will work in the CMS central office to create an analysis of Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate programs for each high school in the district. Another student will work in a learning program at an elementary school and write up an analysis of it.