Students work to extend Civic House funding
The one-time grant that provided for internships was introduced in 2008
September 10, 2013, 7:24 pm · Updated September 11, 2013, 12:21 am·
Penn alumni and current students are working together to ask the University to continue funding an initiative started by a one-time grant from President Amy Gutmann in 2008.
In 2008, at the ServiceNation Summit in New York City, Gutmann announced that Penn would fund 400 additional community service opportunities over the next four years.
The Civic House, Fox Leadership Program and the Netter Center for Community Partnerships were all beneficiaries of the grant.
With the 2008 grant, the Civic House Philadelphia Nonprofit Internship Program (CHPNIP) was proposed to last for four years. However, through partnerships and other funds, the Civic House was able to extend the life of the grant up until last year.
College alumna and former Civic House intern at the Maternity Care Coalition Kelsey Bogue is active in advocating for more funds. She and College senior and co-chair of the Civic House Associates Coalition Alefiyah Lokhandwala are in the process of drafting a letter to Gutmann.
According to Lokhandwala, the letter will be an integration of different students’ testimonials and experiences.
“This experience empowered me to stay in the public sector and led me to where I’m going, which is a degree in social policy at the University of Chicago,” said Bogue, who graduated last year. “This internship was the main factor that pushed me to do that.”
According to Bogue, the program “added legitimacy to our internships when others are going to On Campus Recruiting, working in New York City and doing high-profile jobs.”
CHAC recently gained a spot on the University Council last year. Lokhandwala said, “This will be a medium to address issues such as this. And we hope to bring this up to the administration through the University Council.”
Although other avenues of pursuing nonprofit internships through the Civic House exist, CHPNIP was a way of extending the support to students with public interests.
For the program, the Civic House partnered with 13 nonprofits in Philadelphia and gave a stipend of $3,500 to students in the internship programs. The initial proposal was to grant 105 internships, but through other funds, the Civic House was able to make 141 internships available through CHPNIP.
“This program was only supposed to go until the summer of 2012, but we were able to extend it through saving and grants for an additional year beyond what the president’s grant allowed for,” said Director of Civic House David Grossman.
“We tapped into the Philadelphia Higher Education Network for Neighborhood Development and other funds to stretch the money, and we recently got a grant from the Trustees Council of Penn Women to support some groups like the Maternity Care Coalition,” said Associate Director of Civic House Elizabeth Milkie.
“We were grateful to have the ability to do it,” said Grossman, and “while we would like to find a way to continue it, we understand that it was a limited term opportunity.”
“I learned about advocacy from these internships, so it seemed fitting to advocate for the program that gave us these skills,” said Bogue.