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Business School students 'tithe' for classmates

STANFORD -- As Jim Shelton, a June graduate of the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, signs up new voters in South Africa, he will be supported in part by the donations of fellow business school students.

Shelton, an African American from Washington, D.C., and a 1989 honors graduate of Morehouse College in Atlanta, wanted to work on the South African voter registration and education project before assuming his "real" job with the Atlanta office of McKinsey & Company, the management consulting firm. The project's sponsor, the King Center for Non-violent Change in Atlanta, could not fund him completely. So Shelton turned to the Stanford Management Internship Fund for help.

The fund, founded in 1981, is a student-run program that assists MBA students who take summer jobs in public and non-profit organizations. Students who assume more lucrative private sector internships pledge two percent of their summer earnings for interns like Shelton. This year, the fund raised $70,000, which enabled 22 students to work in places such as El Salvador, the Czech Republic and South Africa.

This summer, the interns are using their management skills in the service of children, the elderly and the poor at such agencies as Save the Children, Youth and Family Assistance, and Shorebank Advisory Services. One student, a Native American, is working for the National Center for Indian Enterprise Development in Mesa, Ariz. Others are serving environmental organizations like the Nature Conservancy.

Because of the fund, Shelton will be able to spend 12 weeks in South Africa. After the voter registration is completed, he will consult at the joint King-Luthuli Transition Center, a non-profit agency in Johannesburg. He will look at their operations with an eye to improving organizational efficiency and will assess the financial feasibility of future educational projects.

Shelton was president of the Black Business Students Association at Stanford Business School and a co-director of the School's inner-city tutorial program. He was a recipient of the City of Atlanta Outstanding Community Service Award.



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