The University of San Francisco’s Leo T. McCarthy Center, the University of Delaware’s Biden Institute and the YMCA of San Francisco Announce the Equity Scholars Internship Program
Collaboration taps public service minded college students to reduce the achievement gap and
prevent learning loss in K-8 children in under-resourced communities
SAN FRANCISCO (June 4, 2021) – The Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good at the University of San Francisco (USF) has announced the Equity Scholars summer internship program in partnership with the Biden Institute at the University of Delaware and the YMCA of San Francisco. The eight-week full-time paid internship for 15 students supports the YMCA of San Francisco’s Power Scholars Academy, and aims to reduce the achievement gap and prevent COVID-19 learning loss in K-8 children in under-resourced communities.
The Equity Scholars internship program is a two-year pilot initiative to bring together public service minded college students as trained ‘Equity Interns’ to offer interactive virtual summer learning opportunities for children in grades K-8. The interns will enhance young students’ overall development, academic performance, and graduation rates by supporting YMCA Power Scholars Academy teachers and staff, and engaging children and their families while inspiring them to become life-long academic achievers.
“College students are a powerful catalyst for change and Equity Interns will provide a valuable resource that enables our young scholars to rebound from COVID-19 setbacks and educational inequities,” said Jamie Bruning-Miles, President and CEO, YMCA of San Francisco. “This program aligns powerfully with our ongoing commitment to ensure our young people continue to advance social change.”
COVID-19 has presented an enormous challenge to the continued growth and success of San Francisco’s effort to address learning loss through the YMCA’s Power Scholars Academy initiative. The Equity Scholars program helps meet this critical need by providing volunteers who are qualified and available to work with the program’s K-8 students.
“The Biden Institute is grateful that we can provide this service opportunity to a select group of our students,” said Catherine McLaughlin, Executive Director of the Biden Institute at the University of Delaware. “The work they will be doing over the summer is aligned with the Institute’s mission of training and inspiring the next generation of policy leaders. By working with the young scholars, the Equity Interns will have a chance to provide hands-on solutions to address a current challenge being faced by too many students in underserved communities."
The Equity Scholars internship program envisions supporting young students in three areas of high need: 1) Ensuring continuous and attentive student participation and access to virtual activities through increased adult-to-student high-touch engagement; 2) Role modeling and connecting children with personal experience and impact stories to help young students to envision their paths to college, careers and future civic engagement; and 3) Connecting with families and caretakers to ensure young students have the access, resources, and support they need for every scholar to be successful.
“We are grateful for the generous gift from the Walter and Elise Haas Fund that makes the paid internships for these exemplary college students possible,” said Derick Brown, Senior Director of the McCarthy Center. “As this summer’s inaugural cohort of Equity Scholars from the UD Biden Institute and USF, they’re ready to make an immediate impact in the community with their drive and dedication to serve.”
Jamie Allison, Executive Director at the Walter & Elise Haas Fund shared, “The Walter & Elise Haas Fund recognizes the urgent need to invest in this generation of young people by supporting them in recovering from the disconnections—from peers, from school and learning, and from planning for their futures—created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Sharing responsibility for the community is a deeply held value at the Fund; therefore, being part of a collective, with partners such as the McCarthy Center, the Biden Institute, and the YMCA has deep meaning for us.”
The Equity Scholars internships will begin in June 2021 and end in mid-July 2021.
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About the Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good at USF
The Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good is dedicated to inspiring and equipping students at USF to pursue lives and careers of ethical public service, and the service to others. The center provides a non-partisan forum for education, service and research in public programs and policy-making. It supports undergraduate and graduate academic programs, including a master’s program in public affairs and an undergraduate minor in public service. Additionally, the McCarthy Center provides community-based learning opportunities and facilitates government experiences for students. Engage San Francisco is a transformative university-community partnership that achieves community- identified outcomes supporting children, youth and families in The Fillmore/Western Addition neighborhood through student learning, research and teaching aligned with USF’s mission and vision. This university-wide initiative supports neighbors living below San Francisco’s poverty level to achieve their full potential in education, health, and career development, and housing. For more information, visit the Leo T. McCarthy center website.
About the Biden Institute at the University of Delaware
The Biden Institute, established at the University of Delaware's Joseph R. Biden, Jr. School of Public Policy & Administration in 2017, is a world class intellectual center and destination for policymakers, scholars, advocates, and other national leaders. It is founded on the values and priorities that motivate President Biden, and on his abiding belief in America’s capacity to lead with dignity, civility, and shared prosperity and purpose for generations to come. Our mission at the Biden Institute is to engage, train, and inspire the next generation of policy leaders. By bringing students together with accomplished, respected practitioners from a broad diversity of backgrounds and a wide range of fields, we equip aspiring public servants to elevate civil discourse and take on the most pressing policy challenges facing our nation. For more information, visit the Biden Institute website.
About the YMCA of San Francisco
The YMCA of San Francisco makes accessible the support and opportunities that empower people and communities to learn, grow and become healthy. With a focus on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, the Y nurtures the potential of every youth and teen, improves the Bay Area’s health and well-being, and provides opportunities to give back and support neighbors. At the YMCA of San Francisco strengthening community is our cause. Every day, we work side by side with our neighbors to make sure that everyone, regardless of age, income or background, has the opportunity to improve their lives and their community. For more information about the Y of SF, please visit the San Francisco YMCA website.