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Shaw University Program Prepares Students For Work In Nonprofit Organizations

Posted February 28, 2000

— For some people, achieving wealth, success and fame is not as important as simply helping others.Shaw Universityhas a program that trains students to become directors of nonprofit organizations.

Shaw University Professor William Thurston calls it nonprofit, public entrepreneurship.

"It doesn't matter what degree the student is pursuing, they can not only prepare to make money, but they can also prepare to make a difference," Thurston says.

Shaw University's program requires that students complete a three-month internship, take field trips to area youth and human service organizations and attend six professional development workshops.

"We're trying to change that me generation type of thing, I mean it's got to start somewhere, so why not us," says Gordon Price, a participant in theAmerican Humanicsprogram. "Instead of us wondering about programs out there and waiting to get exposed to them, he exposed them to us right here where we are."

Tom Dugard, president ofTriangle United Way, sets up the internships.

"What we're trying to do is to build opportunities for career paths for young women and men that are a little different than they might ordinarily think of," Dugard says.

Nonprofit organizations are the fastest growing segment of the American economy. Every year, 28,000 new ones are created.

"If one is looking for upward mobility in the area of human service, it's the nonprofit sector because the government wants to contract with nonprofits," Thurston says. "There's an undersupply of minorities so we hope to fill the gap."

The degree enhancement program offers courses such as human resource management, fund-raising and grant writing. The program is funded with a grant from the Kellogg Foundation.

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