Jamaica Plain resident Sherelle Wu was among the celebrated at a special dinner at the Harvard Kennedy School that drew Massachusetts lawmakers and senior public officials.
The dinner that was held recently highlighted the work this year’s Rappaport Fellows class performed in taking on local policy and legal issues while working at offices of local government. The Fellows worked on diverse issues ranging from transportation to opioid addiction to LGBT rights and were matched with mentors outside their offices who supported their professional development.
In attendance were, among others, state Senators William Brownsberger (D-Belmont) and James Eldridge (D-Middleborough), state Rep. Kay Khan (D-Newton), state Rep. and House Ways and Means Chairman Jeffrey Sanchez (D-Boston), former Massachusetts Attorney General Scott Harshbarger, and former United States Attorney Carmen Ortiz.
In her fellowship, Wu worked at the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office.
In speaking at the dinner, Jerry Rappaport stressed how the Fellowship program promotes optimism in politics, something that is in short supply today.
“Today there is such disrespect for politicians; it’s unfair to everyone in this room who have dedicated their lives to their community’s well-being,” he said. “It’s rejuvenating seeing the work of the Fellows and seeing how public policy can work.”
“I always say that I have 10 kids, but I have 440 Rappaport Fellows,” he said.
The Phyllis & Jerome Lyle Rappaport Foundation supports two summer public policy fellowship programs. One program is hosted at the Rappaport Center at Boston College Law School and the other is hosted at the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston at Harvard Kennedy School. The Rappaport Center supports students from Greater Boston law schools who do work at the nexus of law and public policy. The Rappaport Institute supports public policy fellowships for students at graduate schools from throughout the Boston area. The Rappaport Center and the Rappaport Institute work in close collaboration to support the work of Rappaport fellows.
In addition to the summer fellowships, the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston also hosts the Rappaport Urban Scholars Program. The Urban Scholars Program provides full-tuition scholarships for current public officials to pursue a mid-career Masters in Public Administration (MC/MPA) at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.