Higher Purpose Co. Partners with Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty

by Jarquita Brown

Higher Purpose Co (HPC) partnered with the Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty (SHECP) with two interns, Fatu Kaba and Soniyah Robinson.

SHECP encourages the study of poverty as a complex social problem by expanding and improving educational opportunities for college students in a wide range of disciplines and career trajectories.

Shequite Johnson, HPC’s Chief Operating Officer, and Kristle Wardlaw, HPC’s Membership and Operations Coordinator, have worked closely with Kaba and Robinson. Johnson stated, “I love the energy Fatu, and Soniyah brings to HPC. The pride they take in their work is truly inspiring.”

Johnson proceeded by stating she and Wardlaw were continually impressed by the results Kaba and Robinson produced.

Kaba and Robinson said interning with HPC has been both welcoming and fulfilling. Wardlaw expressed that it is a pleasure to work with them both.

Kaba, born and raised in Monrovia, Liberia, graduated from high school and received a full scholarship to Manchester University in Indiana through SMART Liberia, a nonprofit created to empower Liberian Youth to be change leaders.

Kaba said, “I have been fortunate to serve as one of the two interns with Higher Purpose Co. Working with HPC has allowed me to contribute to black businesses through grant research, entrepreneur training, building social media marketing strategies, and contributing to the overall brand performance, all of which are vital to my long and short-term goals of supporting underrepresented communities.”

Wardlaw stated that having Fatu and Robinson on the team has had a significant impact on the work done at HPC. Johnson feels that they both bring authentic viewpoints that will continue to impact HPC’s mission once their internship is complete.

Robinson, from Scottsdale, Arizona, is a junior at Elon University in North Carolina. She is currently creating her own major centered around social justice with a focus on racial equity.

Robinson said, “I have been most excited about working to uplift Higher Purpose Co.’s mission of supporting Black entrepreneurs, shifting the narrative of Black storytelling, and building generational wealth. I have learned how to do research and audits based on social media and through website content and collecting information on grants.”

Kaba said she hopes to use her college education, research findings, along with other leaders, and entrepreneur skills she gained through her internship to inspire new narratives through education, food security, and nonviolence social change for disadvantaged communities.

Robinson said her plans after the internship is to continue working and growing her business, Boundless Blackness, a small business built to uplift authentic, multifaceted Black stories and promote the limitless impact on Black culture. She also hopes to work in the social justice space after college and advocate for anti-racist policy and systemic change.

SHECP and its member institutions prepare students for a lifetime of professional and civic efforts to diminish poverty and enhance human capability while also supporting connections among students, faculty, staff, and alumni engaged in the study of poverty.