On August 14th, we had the pleasure to participate in ProInspire’s 5Year Anniversary Celebration in San Francisco. ProInspire’s Founder and CEO Monisha Kapila and Bay Area Executive Director Gene Kunde hosted the event. ProInspire features a unique fellowship program that aims to build the next generation of nonprofit leaders by expanding the talent pipeline, developing professionals, and increasing diversity.

The ProInspire Fellows

The ProInspire Fellows

ProInspire recruits outstanding business professionals with 2-5 years of business experience who want to use their skills for social impact.  Fellows spend one year working in an analytical or strategic role at a nonprofit organization in the San Francisco Bay Area or Washington, DC. In the past five years, ProInspire has succeeded in matching and supporting 100 ProInspire Fellows placed in 45 partner organizations in San Francisco and DC.

ProInspire Bay Area Executive Director Gene Kunde and Founder Monisha Kapila

ProInspire Bay Area Executive Director Gene Kunde and Founder Monisha Kapila

Organizations that have hosted ProInspire fellows include Kiva, Tipping Point Community, Share Our Strength, and the National 4-H Council, among many others. In addition to the experience gained through their work placements, Fellows participate in retreats, monthly workshops, coaching, and leadership development projects and receive career and graduate school support.

The 5 Year Anniversary Event at Bluxome Street Winery included graduation of the current cohort of San Francisco Bay Area Fellows as well as presentations from two recent alumni, Andrew Wu, a 2012 Fellow from SingleStop USA, and Sherry Ezhuthachan, a 2013 Fellow from San Francisco Child Abuse Prevention Center. As a Fellow, Andrew worked on a variety of strategic projects including the expansion of funding support for Single Stop in California, the development of new digital marketing strategies and tactics, and the creation of new collaboration and training methods for Single Stop sites. At the San Francisco Child Abuse Prevention Center, Sherry managed public and private relationships and provided the project management required to bring the multi-year Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) initiative to fruition.

ProInspire Fellows Andrew Wu, Sherry Ezhuthachan and Adrienne Gvozdich

ProInspire Fellows Andrew Wu, Christine Wang, Sherry Ezhuthachan and Adrienne Gvozdich

It was great to meet so many Fellows and great partner organizations that work with ProInspire.  Check out their programs – the ProInspire Fellowship and Managing for Success.  Applications for 2015 programs will be out in December!

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The 2013 Baltimore Mayoral Fellows

The 2013 Baltimore City Mayoral Fellows

Seeking a summer policy fellowship in city government? The Baltimore City Mayoral Fellowship provides a 10-week full-time placement in a mayoral office or Baltimore City agencies, during which Fellows are placed in agencies based on their background, interests, and the needs of the agencies and departments. Under the direction of senior level government officials, Fellows are assigned to projects that focus on myriad public policy issues and challenges. Mayoral fellows also participate in weekly brownbag lunches with officials and community leaders, to discuss issues such as business development, housing, crime, civic engagement, education, health, and community redevelopment. Fellows also participate in teambuilding, networking, and social activities throughout the summer. Eligible applicants must have completed the junior year of their undergraduate degree by the start of the fellowship program. Fellows receive a stipend of $4-5,000. To learn more about this unique program, we asked recent Mayoral Fellow Michelle Rau about her experience on the fellowship and her fellowship application tips.

1. What inspired you to apply for the Baltimore City Mayoral Fellowship?

I applied for the Baltimore City Mayoral Fellowship to explore a city planning career on the east coast. I discovered my passion for urban policy as I embarked on a college career in Eugene, Oregon, a small college town bent on the Willamette River, Douglas firs, vintage Shwinns and local everything. I grew up in Los Angeles, the city of sprawling freeways, tract homes and not enough aqueducts. It wasn’t until leaving my hometown that I realized the immense amount of strategy and decision making required to support millions of people’s every day and community needs. I received my first internship in the City of Eugene Planning Department where I got my first insights on economic development, transit-oriented development and community engagement. Post internship, I decided to follow my lifelong dream of discovering east coast cities with a focus on public policy. I saw the Baltimore City Mayoral Fellowship as an exciting challenge as the city is on the cusp of overcoming a myriad of challenges that can be solved through strategic policy-making.

2. What are the benefits of the fellowship?

Baltimore City Mayoral Fellow Michelle Rau

Baltimore City Mayoral Fellow Michelle Rau

The Baltimore City Mayoral Fellowship was an incredible opportunity because the program offers much more than a valuable professional experience. Primarily, fellows are handpicked to take on high profile policy issues the city faces and offer compelling and actionable solutions. Fellows dive in to the issues with full support from their agencies and experience firsthand challenges and triumphs working in local government. Fellows have the unique experience of being both a fly on the wall, gathering any and all information, and an active agent of change putting together research and analysis on a 10-week deadline. Throughout the program, fellows are encouraged to reach out to high level decision makers for project support and ultimately present their findings and policy recommendations to the Mayor and senior staff.

In addition, fellows have weekly opportunities to meet with the city’s senior staff and agency heads, corporate executives and community leaders to engage in conversation about the city’s top initiatives. Some of my favorite events were a tour of the city’s past and present via bicycle, a tour of the iconic Domino Sugar Factory and an all-night police ride-along. Lastly, fellows experience the fellowship as a cohort of young, driven and talented 20-somethings from the region and beyond, striving to make the City a better place. Having moved from across the country for the fellowship, I was thrilled to get to know the other fellows I found so inspiring and make long lasting friends and memories.

Lastly, the objective of the Mayoral Fellowship is to acquire and retain young talent working for Baltimore City. For individuals seeking careers in public service, the Mayoral Fellowship is the ideal platform to get your foot in the door. Some fellowship alumni that have continued to work for the city are amongst the most influential people in the city.

3. What tips would you give others applying to the fellowship?

To others seeking the Baltimore City Mayoral Fellowship, I would advise that applicants have strong skills in research, policy analysis and most importantly, garnering support amongst stakeholders. In local government, it’s all about relationships. Anyone interested in breaking onto the scene is going to need some skills in navigating the political scene, so it’s critical to make connections and foster relationships. Applicants should focus on experience with project management and decision making, whether in the local government field or not, in their application and interviews. While fellows will focus on a single issue, coordination and managing priorities are essential skills for the fellowship. Above all, prospective fellows should be passionate about local public policy issues and eager to embrace a new challenge. A shout-out to the Ravens or Orioles will probably also go a long way!

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Michelle Rau has a passion for urban policy. After studying planning & public policy at the University of Oregon, she spent nearly a year with the City of Eugene to implement key economic development initiatives in the city’s newly adopted 20-year plan, Envision Eugene. Since her Baltimore City Mayoral Fellowship, she has continued to work for the City of Baltimore as an Analyst for the Department of General Services.

© Victoria Johnson 2014, all rights reserved.

Carleigh Morgan, 2013-14 Fulbright ETA in Turkey

Carleigh Morgan, 2013-14 Fulbright ETA in Turkey

The Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) is a unique opportunity for recent college graduates and young professionals to spend 6 months to 1 year in schools overseas, where they supplement local English language instruction and to provide a native speaker presence in classrooms. The age and academic level of the students varies by country, ranging from kindergarten to university level. In addition to providing language instruction, ETAs serve as cultural ambassadors for the U.S. In most cases, Fulbright ETAs are placed outside of capital cities and are integrated into the host community, often an area with limited access to native English speakers and that may not have interacted with Americans before. To learn more about the experience abroad on this particular Fulbright grant, we caught up with Carleigh Morgan, a recent Fulbright ETA in Turkey.

1. What inspired you to apply for the Fulbright ETA in Turkey?

The landmass of Turkey has historically been a site of confrontation, invasion, occupation, and conflict. Since the earliest civilizations imprinted their mark on the area known today as Turkey, the region has witnessed thousands of years of culture gestate, grow, decline, and fade into memory preserved in the crumbling or partially excavated relics that dot the countryside. I have an academic interest in the way that emerging political identities position themselves to this multitudinous historical narrative, particularly since so many of the civilizations that have left their impact in Turkey were historically at odds or in direct opposition as competing cultural influence. As far as nations go, Turkey is a unique model of an industrializing nation that is still grappling with its own historical legacy. Turkey is struggling to reconcile a deeply entrenched nationalism with connectedness to an international political community.  I wanted to teach in an area of the world that operated within this complicated and dynamic sense of history and that was still figuring out how to position its larger cultural identity into the framework of a global community that so often has looked at Turkey as the “bridge” between East and West. I especially wanted to investigate how Turkey acts as an unpredictable or irregular pendulum between East and West, rather than as a static open link allowing for an equitable exchange of tidy cultural customs. The prospect of visiting Turkey’s spectacular museums and historical sites, particularly Pergamon and Efes, was a compelling reason for me to go there because I have a longstanding interest in art and architecture, and the opportunity to explore the artistic legacy of Minoan, Phrygian, Lydian, Greek, and Roman culture was too enticing to ignore. I also have a particular fascination with St. George, and the larger-than-life legend of his mission to proselytize in Cappadocia, which led me to visit the underground cities, fairy chimneys, and gorgeous carved churches of one of Turkey’s most breathtaking regions during my fellowship. Ultimately, my main objective was to teach English. I had the tremendous opportunity to establish and expand Usak University’s first intensive English language program for engineers and university faculty. Teaching basic English was a chance for me to refine my teaching skills, gain work experience, and contribute substantially (both personally and professionally) to developing teaching programs abroad and encouraging intercultural awareness and curiosity.

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2. What has been the most eye-opening experience during your fellowship?

Turkish hospitality has a particular reputation, and from my experience, it is well earned. I was invited to strangers’ homes for chai on a regular basis, and though I arrived not knowing any Turkish, by the time I left I was saying farewell to a network of friends and colleagues whom I consider family. The most significant difference between Turkish values and American values deals with timeturkey10 management, specifically where people and goals intersect. Part of the reason that Turkish hospitality is so famed is because the social network is a fundamental part of workplace culture, so people and conversation are prioritized over accomplishing long-term goals or short-term tasks. In this case, I had to reevaluate my own values as an American and respect the Turkish way, which seemed to be an inversion of the social code I had been raised in and was accustomed to. Whereas prior to arriving I would have found it strange to delay pressing tasks with an immediate deadline, once in Turkey I learned that flexibility is crucial, spontaneity and innovation in the workplace is a necessity, and that people are always more deserving of your attention than paperwork. It encouraged me to slow down my working pace in order to develop more substantial relationships with colleagues, strangers, friends, and students. The ritual of preparing tea and sipping it together slowly over the course of several servings is a rite that binds and fortifies social relationships in Turkey, and I learned to savor the slowness of everyday life and the rich, rustic flavor of tea as red as the Turkish flag.

3. What tips would you give other candidates about adjusting to life abroad?

If you’re interested in some tips that I have exclusively for adjusting to Turkey, feel free to check out my post on the education blog Melibee Global. If you’re looking for more general advice, I can say two things. First, be prepared to radically reorient your sense of personal space and private boundaries. You will develop relationships with people and interact with strangers everyday who have lived steeped in social traditions different from your own, whether that difference is slight or severe. If you are travelling alone, you tend to be much more approachable and should learn to maintain your composure and warmth when people cross into your personal bubble. By no means lower your guard or become overly inviting, but learn to recognize when the cultural tenants of your native culture create friction with the cultural tenants of your new home, especially where boundaries of personal space are concerned. As an American with an inherited sense of individualism, I had to shrink my personal boundaries for space when I arrived to Turkey because the notion of self-identity and integration is much more communal.

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The second main point is this: never be afraid to advocate for yourself, even if you think no one can understand you. As a single, foreign female living in a remote Turkish village, I was the only native English speaker and my Turkish was non-existent at the beginning of my teaching fellowship. I learned to exercise my agency, claim my space, and advocate for myself in English knowing that my messages would disintegrate at the language barrier but that my tone, facial cues, and body language would adequately speak for me. Don’t ever give up your personal power or relinquish control in unsafe or uncomfortable situations just because you think someone won’t understand your words. In fact, I highly recommend learning a few commanding words, like “stop” or “help” or “police” in a second language so that you can navigate questionable situations and compensate a little bit for the linguistic disadvantage. Expressing your discomfort, fear, or concerns is a far better thing to do in your native language despite the misunderstandings that might occur than to remain silent and expose yourself to harm.

 Carleigh is a falconry-obsessed artist who loves testing the permeable boundary between adventure and danger. She holds honors degrees in English Literature and Philosophy from Wake Forest University, and will continue her education at King’s College, London in the fall of 2014. When she’s not scrubbing ink off her nose from having it pressed into the crinkled pages of an old book, she explores open-air museums and archaeological excavations, hikes, creates hip-hop choreography, and studies Gaeilge and Spanish.

© Victoria Johnson 2014, all rights reserved.

If you’re working on your Fulbright application this summer, it’s good to get advice from the pros! The Fulbright Program – Official Group LinkedIn page recently hosted a discussion for the question, “What was the best advice you got when applying for the Fulbright?” Below is some great advice from former Fulbright grantees:

The best advice I received came from a staff member in Turkish Fulbright Committee at the very first social gathering where they introduced the program. She told us to work on the essays – as a part of the application – very hard and make them sound personal and real. That was very helpful for me at the time because even though I was a sociology graduate and had written many essays by that time, I was stressed about those two essays. I chose to write with an open, honest and passionate tone of voice. I underlined the vitality of the scholarship and the program I wanted to be educated in for my future goals. And it worked! Good luck.

-Nazlıhan Eda Erçin, Performer/Researcher – PhD Candidate in Performance Practice at University of Exeter

Work the application from both ends. In other words, get a foreign university to be interested in you and, in the best of all possible worlds, obtain a letter from that institution in which they express their interest in you and your field of expertise. And then submit their letter of interest to the CIES. Good luck.

-Craig Beles, JD, LLM, MCIArb, Experienced Independent Arbitrator & Mediator/ Fulbright Specialist in International ADR

If you are applying for a teaching Fulbright, do not overemphasize what you can do for them. Instead, balance this with some of the many things you’ll learn while you’re there and what this will enable you to do for others upon your return.

- Ann Garry, Professor of Philosophy, California State University, Los Angeles

Having been a reviewer for Fulbright, what we look for is a strong proposal with clear goals and feasible outcomes. The better that you summarize that in the upfront introduction, with clear research or teaching goals, showing how your proposal will impact work with other scholars, contribute to an ongoing area of research or help with developing approaches to certain types of scientific, educational, economic, cultural, political or environmental issues, the more likely your proposal will be considered to move forward. Provide some background academic references or past work that supports your proposal, but be succinct. I know that many people write proposals with long detailed prose about why they are drawn to a particular country. Have a real reason that your research must take place in the country you are proposing such as facilities, the groups your are working with are only in this country, you have a relationship built with colleagues and you need to spend a significant time working in-person or that your research subject is in-country. Please do not include that it’s your life dream because you saw a movie or read a book.

- Anonymous

If you’re seeking additional advice on the Fulbright fellowship application process, check out ProFellow’s Step-by-Step Guide For A Competitive Fellowship Application, as well as our articles and interviews providing Fulbright application tips.

© Victoria Johnson 2014, all rights reserved.

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This weekend, we hosted an Esteemed Fellows Brunch in San Francisco for current, former and aspiring fellows. The brunch brought together a cross-disciplinary group of leaders in their fields. Over a bottomless buffet of Southern-inspired comfort food at Ironside in SOMA, fellows discussed their latest projects and experiences, including innovating government services through technology, programming for an upcoming LGBT seminar series at the Commonwealth Club, and one fellow’s experience researching her new book, “Part of the Family?: Nannies, Housekeepers, Caregivers and the Battle for Domestic Workers’ Rights.” Business cards were exchanged, stories and experiences were shared, and fellows left the event with ideas and new contacts.

The Esteemed Fellows events are organized by our International Fellows Network, which is a rapidly growing professional networking organization of more than 800 current and former fellows from all over the world. We have also held events in Washington, DC, New York City and Berlin, Germany. Through the IFN, current and former fellows can connect for advice and information on fellowships, jobs, events, graduate programs and collaborative opportunities. If you are a current or former fellow and would like to get involved, please sign up for our fellowships database, and we’ll be in touch by email!

July 2014 attendees:

  • Ayushi Gummadi, Fulbright ETA to South America
  • Karen Kwok, National Urban Fellow
  • Kenneth Cunanan, Code for America
  • Michael Fernandez, Marshall Memorial Scholar
  • Ryan Johnson, Cofounder, ProFellow
  • Sheila Bapat, Butler Koshland Fellow
  • Vicki Johnson, Ian Axford Fellow in Public Policy (New Zealand)
  • Wes McGaughey, aspiring fellow/MPP-MBA candidate at Mills College
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2014 Rangel Graduate Fellows

2014 Rangel Graduate Fellows

Guest author Adam Kong provides his insights on the Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Graduate Fellowship, a unique fellowship that prepares graduate students for careers in the U.S. Foreign Service. 

By Adam Kong

Diplomacy as a job? Language learning and foreign travel a requirement? The State Department’s Foreign Service is the United States leading foreign affairs agency with its Foreign Service Officers stationed in more than 270 embassies, consulates and missions around the world. The job of a Foreign Service Officer is to be on the front line of diplomacy by representing the American people, advocating for U.S. interests, and promoting security and prosperity abroad. As a result, the job attracts some of the most qualified and talented individuals in the country.

The Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Program offers a Graduate Fellowship, a unique program with a mission to promote diversity and excellence in the Foreign Service. Similar to its sister programs, the Pickering and Payne Fellowships, the Rangel Program chooses twenty fellows (potentially more) in a highly competitive nationwide selection process and supports them through two years of graduate study, internships, and professional development. Each Rangel Fellow is required to complete a master’s degree at any institution of his or her choice so long as the degree is relevant to the work of the Foreign Service. During their studies Rangel Fellows go through the Foreign Service selection process and are awarded an appointment upon completion of the program. The program especially encourages members of underrepresented groups and those with financial need to apply.

What’s particularly alluring about the Fellowship is the financial benefits during the two year program. Each fellow is awarded $35,000 annually to help cover the costs of tuition and stipend. On top of that they are given a stipend during their internships and have other costs such as transportation paid for. A unique element of the Rangel Fellowship, though, are its university partners listed here. These universities have pledged a certain amount of scholarships and financial aid to any Rangel Fellow who attends their programs. This can be anything from a $20,000 annual scholarship to a full ride plus stipend. Therefore, depending on the school and their scholarship, the overall benefits of the fellowship can easily exceed $100,000. After graduating from school, Rangel Fellows are required to serve at least five years in the Foreign Service.

What makes a competitive applicant? There is no perfect mold for any application process but the Rangel Program’s website provides good advice on how to prepare a competitive application. A strong personal statement, high grades, and a passion for public service and international affairs can help make your application competitive. Most important, though, is a candidate’s desire to serve abroad as a Foreign Service Officer. The graduate study, stipend and other benefits should be second to an applicant’s real interest in joining the Foreign Service. Ideally, the best candidates are those who intend to make a career out of diplomacy and potentially be the next leaders in the U.S. State Department.

Is the Foreign Service right for you? If you believe that diplomacy is your calling, consider applying to the Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Program! The Rangel Graduate Fellowship application deadline is typically in early January.

2014 Rangel Fellow Adam Kong

2014 Rangel Fellow Adam Kong

Adam Kong is a current Rangel Fellow at Columbia University pursuing a Master’s in International Affairs. He is a former Fulbright Fellowship recipient, Gilman Scholar, and aspires to become the world’s greatest Pokemon trainer.  

© Victoria Johnson 2014, all rights reserved

Carnegie-Knight News21 Fellow Claudia Balthazar

Carnegie-Knight News21 Fellow Claudia Balthazar

The Carnegie-Knight News21 Fellowship is a unique professional fellowship for journalism students based at News21, a program headquartered at the Arizona State University Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications in Phoenix, Arizona. Each year during the spring semester, selected fellows take part in a weekly issues seminar taught by Professor Leonard Downie Jr., the Weil Family Professor of Journalism at the Cronkite School and former executive editor of The Washington Post. The seminar immerses students in the topic to be investigated by News21 in the summer. During the summer, fellows work full time for 10 weeks, reporting and producing an in-depth multimedia project for a major news outlet. Fellows receive a $7,500 stipend plus travel expenses, and fellows can stay in university dormitory housing on ASU’s downtown Phoenix campus. This year, 27 student fellows from 16 universities will document the struggle over gun rights and regulation in America for the program’s fifth national project. We caught up with 2014 News21 Fellow Claudia Balthazar to learn more about her experience and her fellowship application tips.

1. What inspired you to apply for the Carnegie-Knight News21 Fellowship?

I majored in journalism at Hofstra University and began researching opportunities during my freshman year when I was too young to apply to fellowships. At this time I was researching and working on the skills that would qualify me because I knew that I would want to be accepted into a journalism fellowship closer to graduation since it would help me grow before fully starting my career. I was inspired to apply to the Carnegie-Knight News21 fellowship by the Herbert School of Communication at Hofstra. The school asked me if they could nominate me for the fellowship and I said yes because I loved the topic they were covering – Gun Policy. At the time of applying, I was working on the first part of my independent study on Gun Control so I thought it would be a great chance to further my research through this fellowship. Also, the opportunity to live in Phoenix for the summer would help me to grow as a person and a well-rounded journalist.

2. What have been some of the most eye-opening moments during your fellowship?

The most eye-opening moments are yet to come. We’re in week 2 right now. What I like the most are the people that I am meeting and the connections I am making. There are recent graduates and rising seniors from all over the country, including Canada. Hearing their stories and their backgrounds on our topic is very compelling. I also like staying in a new place completely different from New York and getting to know a different lifestyle. What is also great is learning about research on towns that aren’t known for gun violence and really investigating that topic. It’s also great that I am learning database journalism, which is a side of journalism that I’ve never learned before.

During the summer, fellows work full time for 10 weeks, reporting and producing an in-depth multimedia project for a major news outlet.

During the summer, fellows work full time for 10 weeks, reporting and producing an in-depth multimedia project for a major news outlet.

3. What tips would you give others applying to the Carnegie-Knight news21 Fellowship?

I really encourage people to get involved in their schools because you need that nomination to be eligible. If your school doesn’t know who you are, then it’s hard to get the nomination. Stay involved and write as much as possible. This fellowship takes the brightest students and you are competing with people all over the U.S. Definitely be yourself. There are people with so many different skills and that’s what makes applicants stand out. I think what made me stand out were my leadership skills and knowledge of the topic. Many other people were accepted for their photography or their writing or just the connections they have at their schools. And of course, keep your social media clean! Just like any other job. That counts.

Claudia Balthazar is a journalism student at Hofstra University with a concentration in Political Science. She is President of Hofstra University’s Association of Black Journalists, a staff member for WRHU – Radio Hofstra University, and a contributing writer for numerous publications.

© Victoria Johnson 2014, all rights reserved

2013-14 New Sector RISE Fellow Allie Jones

2013-14 New Sector RISE Fellow Allie Jones

New Sector Alliance’s Residency in Social Enterprise (RISE) program is an 11 month fellowship for emerging leaders committed to careers in social impact. The program consists of a full-time position at a host site nonprofit organization as well as intensive professional development activities and trainings in all aspects of the social sector. In addition to participation in New Sector’s Social Impact Leadership Curriculum, each fellow is matched one-on-one with a mentor, who provides valuable input to support host site project success, personal and professional development, career planning, and more. RISE fellows receive a stipend and benefits totaling roughly $30,000 in value.

This year, New Sector RISE has expanded to Minneapolis-Saint Paul, the “Twin Cities,” adding a new cohort to their existing programs in San Francisco, Boston and Chicago. Applications are now open for the Twin Cities cohort! To learn more about this extraordinary opportunity, we interviewed Allie Jones, a current RISE fellow in San Francisco.

1. What inspired you to apply to New Sector Residency in Social Enterprise?

I found New Sector’s model of professional development and training sessions paired with a capacity building project at a host site placement to be a great opportunity to explore my interest in the intersection between business and social impact. I had previously been involved in several roles in the social sector and wanted to further understand how to implement impact efficiently and effectively. Additionally, I was inspired by the New Sector cohort model and vast New Sector Alumni network, which is a true testament to the high quality of the fellowship.

2. What are some of the benefits of the fellowship?

The scope of my work at my host site, First Place for Youth, as a Policy Associate is to build the organizational knowledge about the impact of First Place’s programs and best practices for replication. A typical day at First Place for Youth ranges from researching policy initiatives to analyzing data with the Evaluation and Learning Department. A current project involves an internal data evaluation of how parenting clients succeed in program with a written report to contribute to the public policy dialogue on early parenthood and teen pregnancy.

One of the best components of the program is the cohort experience. Each fellow has their own host site placement, but we are able to come together weekly to discuss, learn and problem-solve any challenges we are experiencing with our projects or in regards to professional development. Each individual has unique experiences and backgrounds, yet we are united by a common passion for social change.

The Boston RISE cohort participated in New Sector's unique Social Impact Leadership Curriculum

The Boston RISE cohort participated in New Sector’s unique Social Impact Leadership Curriculum

3. What application tips would you give to aspiring fellows?

New Sector Alliance is an exceptional opportunity for individuals committed to the social impact and want to grow as leaders. New Sector Alliance strives to include a diverse group of fellows, yet there are several key characteristics the program looks for in its candidates: humilty, comfort with ambiguity, an interest in intellectual challenges, a team attitude and ambitiousness. My advice to those who are applying to New Sector Alliance’s RISE program is to clearly articulate why New Sector Alliance is an important stepping-stone for a career in the social sector. Be sure to reflect on previous experiences and your future aspirations so you can be clear why New Sector Alliance is the best opportunity for your career path.

Allie Jones is a San Francisco Bay Area Residency in Social Enterprise Fellow 2013-2014 serving at First Place for Youth in Oakland, California. She received her B.A. in Environment, Economics, and Politics from Scripps College. Prior to her undergraduate studies, Allie served as a Corps member with City Year New York. In her free time, she enjoys running, gardening, reading and traveling.

© Victoria Johnson 2014, all rights reserved.

The James Madison Fellowship Summer Institute group with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

The James Madison Fellowship Summer Institute group with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

The James Madison Graduate Fellowship is a unique award that provides academic funding for secondary school teachers interested in becoming subject matter experts of the American Constitution. Each year, the James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation choses one fellow from each state for a $24,000 award towards graduate study leading to a master’s degree. After receiving the master’s degree, each Fellow must teach American history, American government, or social studies in grades 7–12 for one full year for each academic year of funding received under a fellowship, preferably in the state from which the recipient won the fellowship. A major component of the James Madison Fellowship is participation in a four-week Summer Institute on the Constitution in Washington, DC entitled “The Foundations of American Constitutionalism.” Taught by constitutional scholars, this Institute provides coursework on the principles, framing, ratification, and implementation of constitutional government in the United States. Kymberli Wregglesworth, a 2011 James Madison Fellow from Michigan, discusses her fellowship experience and fellowship application tips. 

1. What inspired you to apply for the James Madison Fellowship?     

I began a Master’s Degree in American History and Government at Ashland University through a grant and wanted to be able to complete it without taking out loans. Being a high school teacher, I knew that would be impossible without finding some additional funding. Their program recommends the Madison Fellowship to all of their students, and once I realized that it would fully fund my studies, I decided to give it a try. I was also interested in the expenses-paid trip to Washington, DC for a month and the intensive study of the Constitution. Being a civics teacher, I knew that studying with the scholars the Madison Fellowship brings in each year would benefit my teaching and therefore, my students.

The first time I applied I really didn’t know what I was doing, so I wasn’t too surprised when I was denied. The second time I was named as an alternate and several Madison Fellows I know said that I would likely be chosen the next year if I applied again. I did and was chosen in 2011. If you really want a specific fellowship, you shouldn’t give up just because you haven’t been chosen the first or even the second time you apply.

2. How has the fellowship experience influenced your current work?

I have become a scholar of the Constitution and this has helped me to be a better teacher to my civics students. I was able to learn so many things about the Founding period, the Constitutional Convention, the men involved and the variety of competing ideas, and I can now use that information to have a more complete understanding of the entire era. My performance in the Summer Institute (a month-long stay in Washington, DC to study with some of the most esteemed scholars of the Constitution) has interested me in the possibility of pursuing a Ph.D. when I am finished with my Master’s Degree. That may not be a possibility until I complete my high school teaching career, but I will be actively seeking out opportunities to continue my constitutional education.

3. What do you think made your fellowship application stand out?

Applicants are judged against other applicants within their home state based on their commitment to teach American History or American government. Prior knowledge of teaching the Constitution is also looked at heavily, as there is a long essay on the application that stresses the importance of teaching the Constitution in today’s society.

I feel that my application stood out because I have been teaching civics for several years and could express the importance of teaching about the Constitution in my essay. Additionally, I was a classmate of several Madison Fellows at Ashland University, and got a good deal of advice from them on how to complete a quality application. I also had a current fellow write a letter of recommendation for me, as the Selection Committee looks to their current and past fellows as a major source of new applicants.

Kymberli Wregglesworth is a 15-year veteran high school teacher at Onaway High School in Onaway, Michigan, which is also her alma mater. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in History and Political Science from Alma College, Alma, Michigan, and a Master’s Degree in Education from Michigan State University. Kymberli is now in her last semester at Ashland University in Ashland, Ohio and will be writing her thesis on the formative years of Alice Paul. She is married with a 9-month-old daughter and in her spare time, she enjoys downhill skiing, officiating competitive cheer, and directing the Miss Onaway Scholarship Program for teen girls in her community.

ImageSponsored by New Sector Alliance

New Sector’s Residency in Social Enterprise (RISE) Fellowship program is an intensive, 11-month Fellowship for emerging leaders and recent college graduates who are committed to the social sector.

Minneapolis-Saint Paul, the “Twin Cities,” will join Boston, San Francisco, and Chicago as the RISE program’s 4th location. Fellows will be selected from a highly competitive pool and matched with a nonprofit organization in the Twin Cities to serve full-time completing projects that allow organizations to more effectively achieve their missions. Each project is designed to make a lasting impact beyond the Fellow’s service term. Throughout their service term, Fellows participate in New Sector’s training program by engaging in the Social Impact Leadership Curriculum, which covers a wide range of topics that build the skills and tools for effective social sector leadership.

In addition, each Fellow is matched with an individual mentor who provides support for host site projects, professional development, and career planning. Mentors include management consultants and nonprofit leaders.

You can read more about the New Sector fellowship experience in ProFellow’s interview with Allie Jones: Insights on the New Sector Residency in Social Enterprise (RISE)

Compensation and Benefits

RISE Fellows receive a stipend and benefits totaling roughly $30,000 in value, along with a certificate of completion of New Sector’s training curriculum. Compensation includes:

  • Living stipend of $19,000
  • Health-care coverage with no financial contribution from the Fellow
  • An end-of-year $5,550 Segal AmeriCorps Education Award*, distributed upon successful completion of the program and good for outstanding loans or future educational expenses at any accredited institution in the United States (*pending Americorps approval)

How To Apply

New Sector is looking for candidates who are collaborative, who are passionate and who want to accelerate their professional development through high-impact service.

June 30, 2014 is the recommended application submission date. Rolling applications accepted afterwards. For more information and to apply, visit: http://www.newsector.org/content/twin-cities