Stewart’s Shops and the Dake family deepen commitment to internships and Nature Up North Program
Through a recent multi-year commitment, Stewart’s Shops and the Dake family have once again partnered with St. Lawrence to expand experiential learning opportunities that benefit students, alumni, and the entire North Country community designed in two parts: renewed support of the University’s Internship Fellowship Award Program as well as the Nature Up North program.
Established in 1997, the University’s Internship Fellowship Award program is designed to promote leadership and career development opportunities for undergraduate students. Awarded to St. Lawrence students who have secured an internship, or research opportunities, this award is intended to help offset the cost of living and travel/transportation expenses incurred during the student’s internship experience. Funds may also potentially cover income for unpaid internships.
The Stewart’s Shops/Dake Family Internship Fellowship Fund will support 10-12 student internship fellowship experiences annually. This Gift is an expansion of the Dake family’s previous gift for internships in 2017. To date, their funding has supported 69 Internship Fellowships for students. The most recent cohort of interns has included positions in finance, environmental activism, human rights, bioarcheology, and supporting small businesses, to name a few.
Sage Lalor ’24, a government major from Vermont with minors in African studies and outdoor studies, spent the summer of 2022 working for the Main Street Alliance of Vermont (MSA-VT), an advocacy nonprofit organization with a mission of elevating the voices of small business owners on important public policy issues in Vermont.
“My job was to be the MSA-VT Field Organizer,” says Lalor. “I conducted outreach to small business owners to hear their thoughts and perspectives on the policies and bring them into the advocacy work.”
Lalor connected with 54 small business owners in Burlington, Vermont with the network and performed over 120 intensive interviews to make sure small businesses had a voice on policy directly affecting them.
“I learned a lot about what it means to work in the advocacy field,” says Lalor. “I not only learned what mission-driven work is, but also how it relates to political scope in society. I now have experience in the field, mentors and connections I can call on for support, a wider scope of how I can interact with society in a meaningful way, and more passion than ever about facilitating beneficial change in my communities around me.”
I not only learned what mission-driven work is, but also how it relates to political scope in society. I now have experience in the field, mentors and connections I can call on for support, a wider scope of how I can interact with society in a meaningful way, and more passion than ever about facilitating beneficial change in my communities around me.”
–Sage Lalor ’24
With this new pledge of support, the Stewart’s Shop/Dake Family internship funding will focus on internship sites in the 20+ counties in New York State and Vermont that are home to Stewart’s Shops. This deepens the commitment that Stewart’s Shop makes to the communities that its stores reside in. Stewart’s Shop has over 340 stores located across upstate New York and southern Vermont. Internships are not the only way the Stewart’s Shops and Dake Family donation impacts St. Lawrence and the North Country community.
A portion of the gift will also support the Nature Up North Program. Nature Up North is a community-based organization based at St. Lawrence University whose mission is to foster a deeper sense of appreciation for, and connection to, the North Country environment and in doing so to create a bio-regionally literate community that is committed to protecting the wild things and wild places that define this place we call home.
This new commitment to Nature Up North builds upon previous support The Stewart’s Shops and Dake Family made to the program in 2020. These new funds help to support the program, with a focus on securing and organizing Nature Up North internships for the program’s students.