Non-Profit and Public Benefit

Explore careers in the non-profit and public benefit sector by exploring the links below. Found a career you're interested in? Stop by our office or make an appointment with a career advisor and begin networking to learn more.

Quicklinks: Job and Internship Resources | Student Organizations & Departmental ResourcesAlumni to Know

Job and Internship Resources

For nonprofit opportunities that address specific subject areas, view the subject based industry page (e.g., arts, education, health and human services, and sports).




Student Organizations & Departmental Resources

  • Campus Kitchen - Organization combats hunger and promote nutrition by recovering and reusing food that would otherwise go to waste into balanced meals for low-income members of the community in Rockbridge County. Volunteers also develop valuable relationships with clients.
  • Take 2 - Take 2 is a club that collects second hand clothes and accessories from students and then (hopes to have) a annual or bi-annual sale with all proceeds benefiting TrueMission Virginia. TrueMission Virginia is partnering with Safe Street Ministries in Roanoke to build a safe house for minor girls rescued from human trafficking. We named the club Take 2 because we are not only giving the clothes a second chance, but most importantly these girls a second chance at life.
  • Shepherd Program - The Shepherd Program for the Interdisciplinary Study of Poverty and Human Capability integrates thought and action in direct service to disadvantaged communities. 

Alumni To Know

One of the best ways to explore careers and find job opportunities is to network with professionals. Below are alumni who have experience in the field and have volunteered to be a resource to you. Not sure how to begin networking? Stop by our office to get started.

To learn about and network with more alumni in the industry, visit the WLUalum Twitter!

Paul Negron '03

Paul Negron graduated from Washington and Lee in 2003 with a BA in Communications. A passionate education and job-training advocate, Paul has worked vigorously throughout his career to ensure students successfully achieve their educational and career goals.

Paul serves as the Program Support Specialist for the DC State Board of Education. He handles communications and public engagement for the State Board, coordinating writing, editing, media relation press releases, talking points, and social-media management for the nine-member elected education body for the District.

Prior to joining the State Board, Paul worked as a career education manager for two local non-profits that provide job readiness training and placement to low-income, underserved DC area residents. In this role, Paul specialized in delivering industry-specific career development training that provided targeted advice through positive reinforcement and encouragement. Additionally, Paul has cultivated strong relationships with many community-based organizations and employers here in the District.

Paul has resided in the District since 2013, currently living in Ward 1’s Mt. Pleasant neighborhood. Before moving to DC, he worked as a marketing director for an international language school and a web copywriter for a timeshare organization in Florida. 

Vanessa J. Ndege '12

Though I received my Bachelors in Studio Art and Psychology, I was heavily involved in The Shepherd Program for the Interdisciplinary Study of Poverty and Human Capabilities. I took many core poverty courses including the final capstone course, and participated in a Shepherd internship and the Bonner Scholar program. I largely credit my experiences with the Shepherd Program for the initial steps I've taken in my career. During my senior year, I was selected for the Elrod Fellowship; a mentorship program designed to foster careers in the non-profit sector. Through the guidance of my mentors, I began working with the chronically homeless and severely mentally ill population in Washington, DC, at the non-profit, Pathways to Housing, DC. My time at Pathways was challenging and incredibly eye-opening. I gained valuable first-hand exposure to both the mental health field and the social services sector. Working for a non-profit fueled my interest in organizational behavior theories; I'm particularly interested in how non-profit organizations can be run with the same rigor and success as major for-profit corporations. I am currently working on a Masters in Industrial Organization at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology.

Emily Suminski '14

Emily, originally from Lancaster, California, comes from a single parent low-income first-generation college family. As you might imagine, she found it a little difficult to adjust to life at Washington and Lee when she first arrived on campus. Eventually, through involvement in a wide variety of campus organizations, she found her niche and is incredibly grateful for the opportunities she was provided at W&L. Emily works at Pathways to Housing DC as a social worker where she provide housing and other services for mentally ill homeless individuals. This fall she plans on attending The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She is very interested in speaking to students about non-profit careers or regarding any questions a student has about life after college in general. Emily loves hearing from W&L students so feel free to contact her!

Shiri Yadlin '12

Shiri graduated from W&L in 2012, majoring in Religion and Global Politics with a minor in the Shepherd Poverty Program. After spending a year as an English Teaching Assistant in Austria as a Fulbright Fellow, she moved to Washington DC to work for Pathways to Housing, a non-profit focused on housing and mental health services. This direct service job focused on providing "wrap-around" services to adults with mental illness and a history of homelessness.

Shiri is currently pursuing a Masters in Public Policy at Georgetown University's McCourt School of Public Policy, hoping to continue work in the anti-homelessness realm on a bigger picture level.

As a case manager at Pathways, and in graduate work since, Shiri has been able to interact with a wide variety of social service agencies throughout DC, and is happy to talk with any students interested in non-profit and social services work or graduate school

Lauren Weedon Hopkins '99

Lauren Weedon Hopkins graduated from Washington and Lee in 1999 with a B.A. in English and Print Journalism. After a successful career in the magazine industry in New York City, including the senior editor of, Lauren moved back to her hometown of Jacksonville, FL. She became active in local volunteer organizations such as the Junior League of Jacksonville and the Rotaract Club of Florida's First Coast, serving as its president.

With a renewed focus on community service, Lauren decided to make volunteering her day job and write in her free time. While freelancing for Marie Claire, Shape and Every Day with Rachael Ray, she joined the staff of a local nonprofit organization which fulfills the dreams of children battling life-threatening illnesses. During her five years at Dreams Come True, Lauren held a variety of positions including director of development, associate director and interim executive director.

From 2012-2015, Lauren served as director of development at the YMCA of Florida's First Coast. In addition to soliciting and stewarding major gifts for the organization, she played an integral role in the $21 million capital campaign to build a new Y downtown.

In August 2015, Lauren became the executive director of Catholic Charities Jacksonville, where she oversees a $5.5 million budget and more than 50 staff. By putting compassion into action, the agency prevents homelessness with programs in emergency assistance, workforce development and more. Lauren holds the Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) credential and is a past president of the Florida First Coast Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). A graduate of Leadership Jacksonville and the inaugural class of Emerging Leaders sponsored by the Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida, Lauren is happy to speak with students about fundraising and nonprofit work.