Williams receives $1 million to encourage public service

As part of an effort to encourage Williams graduates to seek careers in public service, two Williams alumni recently made a substantial donation to the school in order to set up a summer internship program in the public service sector.

Jonathan Kraft ’86, director of the Kraft Foundation, a non-profit organization in Boston, and his brother Joshua Kraft ’89, a program director at the Chelsea Boys and Girls Club, donated one million dollars from the Robert and Myra Kraft Foundation to fund up to 12 Williams students in public service summer internships each year.

The donation was partly a result of the success of a pilot program through which five Williams students held internships in the public service sector last summer.

President of the College Harry Payne said the Krafts are committed to raising public awareness of many social issues facing the New England community and they made this donation in the hope that more Williams students will choose to work or volunteer in public service positions.

He described the donation as, “a wonderful gift to our students toward nurturing social engagement” and said it will a void in the area of public service internships.

Ronald Gallagher, an assistant director of the Office for Career Counseling and coordinator of the office’s summer internship program, said the program will allow students to work at organizations which are “at the cutting edge of promoting social change and racial equality.”

“(The program) enables students to be exposed to the multitude of opportunities to contribute over a lifetime to nonprofits whether through a career, volunteer work, board involvement or financial support,” he added.

The five students who participated in the pilot program last summer were: Jeffrey Manning ’00, who interned at the Bridge Program in Hartfort; Emily Eustis ‘00, at the Northern Berkshire Community Action Council; Meghan Cavanaugh ‘00 at the Springfield Center for Youth Development; Michael Woltz ‘00 at the Chelsea Boys and Girls Club; and Donel Courtney at Facing History in Ourselves in Boston.

Dean of the College Peter Murphy said he hopes the program will spur an interest in public service sector jobs among Williams students.

“It would be delightful if (the program) inspired students to do more of this sort of work,” he said. “In the meantime the work they do as interns will itself be an immediate benefit for them and for the world.”

Payne echoed Murphy’s sentiments.

“We hope this will nurture commitment to public service and civic engagement, either as a career or as part of a lifetime commitment outside of a career.”

Additional information about the Kraft internships is available at sessions being held at the Office of Career Counseling on October 8 and 21 and on November 3 and 17. According to Gallagher applying students are required to submit a resume and a one-page paper describing their interests and goals.

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