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YOUR GIFT MAKES A DIFFERENCE
A man on a mission best describes Shepherd alumnus Kevin Howley '95. Responding to world crises over the last 10 1/2 years through his work with the United Nations World Food Program (WFP), the food aid arm of the U.N. benefiting the poor and hungry, Kevin has worked with refugees in Northern Tanzania, Zambia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, helped rebuild people's lives in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, following the 2004 tsunami, and recently aided thousands of flood victims in Uganda.
Two years ago Kevin came back to Shepherd during one of his brief trips home. Ever on a mission, he met with Monica Lingenfelter in the Foundation Office to start a scholarship as a way of marking the 10th anniversary of his graduation. He viewed the scholarship as a way to recognize the assistance he received from his family and to encourage others to pursue a Shepherd degree and to study sociology, his chosen field. He named the scholarship Njouve, from a Bantu word for elephant.
From his office at the WFP headquarters in Rome, Kevin took time to reflect on the scholarship: "While living overseas I have learned the value of an education. I think at times in the U.S. we take for granted the fact that we have opportunities that most people around the world do not have. Education is the best way to give oneself a better chance. I also feel very fortunate that my parents were able to pay for my education at Shepherd because I saw classmates struggling to afford tuition at times. Once I was able to save some money, I felt I should start a scholarship as the best way to directly benefit a student."
Kevin values his time at Shepherd. "I felt lucky that, given the small size of classes, I was able to develop friendships with students and professors" he said. "I was greatly influenced by Dr. V.J. Brown and especially Dr. Momodou Darboe, with whom I still keep in touch."
Already the effect of Kevin's generosity is being felt. This year Benjamin Ward from Owings, Maryland, received the first Njouve Scholarship. "I feel very honored and privileged to have received this scholarship because it comes from a person who works for an organization that gives back to so many people across the world," said Benjamin. "I will take advantage of this opportunity to better myself academically and throughout life. I hope that I will be able to make as much of a difference upon graduation as he has."
Sometimes it takes a while to fully appreciate the value of an education and the desire to give something back to your alma mater. When that time comes, the Shepherd University Foundation stands ready to help.
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Kevin Howley '95
Kevin Howley sent photos of his latest mission to help rebuild Banda Aceh, Indonesia, devastated by the 2004 tsunami. U.N. World Food Program ships (above) are laden with construction materials provided by different organizations that are used to produce many houses like the one pictured below.
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