Lumpkin Summer Institute for Service-Learning

Designed for students with a commitment to service, the Lumpkin Summer Institute for Service Learning challenges students to explore and participate in social change in the Greater Boston Area. During the 10-week program, students reside together in Boston while undertaking full-time internships with local nonprofit organizations. Led by Wellesley College faculty, staff, and nonprofit practitioners, a weekly seminar integrating experiential and traditional classroom learning benefits not only the Wellesley interns, but also the communities in which they serve.

2016 Internship Dates: May 31, 2016 - August 5, 2016

Why Lumpkin?

The Lumpkin Summer Institute for Service-Learning has many benefits, which include:

  • Gaining experience working for a nonprofit or governmental agency.
  • Living with a group of Wellesley peers in Boston for the summer.
  • Building professional skills in an office setting.
  • Learning about the challenges facing urban environments and seeing how various individuals and organizations are working to address those challenges.
  • Completing a meaningful and long-lasting independent project.
  • Building a professional network within the Boston community.

The Independent Project

As part of the Institute, students are required to complete an independent project that is meaningful for both the student and the organization and will have a long-term impact. Students work closely with the Lumpkin Program Director and their Internship Site Supervisor to identify and complete the project.

Examples of recent projects:

  • Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center: Developing a bilingual newsletter template for parents.
  • Boston Community Capital: Researching and writing an extensive report regarding social impact data.
  • St. Francis House: Organizing a job fair for guests.
  • Boston Area Rape Crisis Center: Creating an HR & Operations Manual.


Topics for the weekly seminars cover many aspects of the urban environment and provide students with an opportunity to learn about the challenges facing the Boston community.

Examples of recent weekly seminars:

  • Urban Housing: This seminar was led by Elyse Cherry, Wellesley alum (‘75) and CEO of Boston Community Capital (BCC). As part of this seminar, students learned about the housing crisis in Boston, the negative impact foreclosure has on communities, and how BCC is working to alleviate the problem.
  • Education: As part of this seminar, John Connolly, one of Boston’s mayoral candidates, came to speak about public education and his vision for the Boston Public Schools.
  • Healthcare: For this seminar, students traveled to the Dimock Center in Roxbury to hear from both Myechia Minter-Jordan, the CEO of the Dimock Health Center, and Andy Ellner, Associate Physician in the Division of Global Health Equity at Brigham and Women's Hospital. Students reflected on the healthcare challenges many low-income communities in urban areas are facing and learned how community health centers, such as the Dimock, can help address these challenges.
  • Race/Class: During this seminar, students engaged in activities with Wellesley Professor Veronica Darer to explore the ways race and class influence our perceptions.


Housing is identified by the CWS and $1,000 of the $3,500 stipend must be used toward housing. All students who participate in the Institute will live together. Recent housing sites have included Northeastern University (2014), Boston University (2013), and Suffolk University (2012).  Living together is a tremendous benefit of the Lumpkin Summer Institute. By living together, Lumpkin fellows have an opportunity to meet other Wellesley students with similar interests and to make long-lasting friendships.

Program Requirements

  • In order to participate in the program, students are required to:
  • Work a total of 40 hours a week for 10 weeks;
  • Live together in Boston for the duration of their internship;
  • Attend weekly meetings and seminars;
  • Complete all required reports, projects, and readings for seminars;
  • Attend mandatory orientation meetings sponsored by the CWS;
  • Return all student contracts and paperwork as required by the CWS;
  • Participate in the Tanner Conference.
  • Open to sophomores only.

2016 Internship Sites

  • Boston Community Capital 
  • Crittenton Women’s Union
  • The Dimock Center
  • Medical Legal Partnership
  • Renewal House
  • St. Francis House
  • St. Stephen's B-SAFE Program
  • Office of Senator Harriette L. Chandler
  • Two additional sites to be finalized by mid December 2015

For complete site descriptions, please visit (copy/paste into your internet browser).

Application Instructions

Please submit the following to schedule # 1588 (Job ID# 17968) in MyCWS by Tuesday, January 5, 2016 at Noon EST (Boston time):

  • Short essay responses, 150-250 words each (uploaded to Writing Sample #1 section) in one Word document with your name, campus mailbox and Banner ID number at the top of each page.  Questions listed below.
  • One page resume
  • Electronic Supplemental Form:
    (FYI: must be logged in with your Wellesley ID to access form)
  • Unofficial transcript from BANNER      

Application Questions

Short essay responses of 150-250 words should respond to all of the following questions (note: NOT a letter format):  

  1. Reasons for selection your top two site choices, including what inspires you about the sites’ mission and the specific qualifications that make you a match.
  2. How will this opportunity shape your Wellesley experience and future career path?
  3. How/what do you hope to contribute to the organization?
  4. Why Boston? What do you hope to learn from living and working in the city?