10 Social Impact Fellowships for Undergraduates

Nov 30, 2021 • Views -

If you are a current undergraduate looking for a hands-on way to make a positive social impact, check out these fellowship programs! There are programs focusing on gender inequity, hunger, sustainability, and social entrepreneurship. If one of these programs catches your eye, be sure to bookmark it to your ProFellow account!

Bush Fellowships

Bush Fellows receive a flexible grant of up to $100,000 that can be used over 12 to 24 months to pursue the education and experiences they need to become more effective leaders in their community. Bush Fellows may use the grant to pursue a self-designed leadership development plan. Fellows may not direct grant funds to another person, organization or project. They may also use the grant to start or complete a degree-seeking program, anything from an undergraduate degree to a PhD. Applicants to the Bush Fellowship Program must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, at least 24 years old and must have lived for one continuous year immediately prior to the application deadline in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota or one of the 23 Native nations that share the same geographic area. 

Cansbridge Fellowship

The Cansbridge Fellowship seeks to build future leaders through a program that fosters growth through creating new ideas and using a powerful network for change. Leaders and entrepreneurs who think outside the box and who have a past as risk-takers are invited to apply. The fellowship includes international work experience in Asia, a conference in San Francisco, and access to the Cansbridge Global Network. Applicants must be undergraduates currently enrolled in a Canadian college or university and pursuing a degree in business, science, design, or technology.

Dalai Lama Fellows

Dalai Lama Fellows cultivates and supports a global movement of next-generation leaders applying universal values to solve global challenges. Fellows work on social change projects in local communities to address one or more of the following areas: mitigating economic disparity, diminishing violence, gender inequity, improving cross-cultural and inter-religious cooperation, and enhancing environmental sustainability. As part of a year-long Fellowship, we provide each Fellow with (1) Immersion in our distinctive yearlong Head, Heart, Hands leadership curriculum, (2) One-on-one coaching and (3) Life Long affiliation in our global learning community and support system. In order to be eligible, applicants must be next-generation leaders between ages 20-35.

First Generation Civil Rights Fellowship (FirstGEN)

FirstGEN is a 10-week summer fellowship for undergraduate students who are the first in their immediate families to attend an institution of higher education and are passionate about pursuing careers in social justice. FirstGEN Fellows gain hands-on experience working on civil rights matters as full-time Public Policy & Social Justice or Education Opportunities interns and participate in weekly advocacy training. Fellows receive a $1,500 stipend.

J Street U Lonnie Dounn Fellowship

J Street is looking to hire student fellows who are interested in political advocacy work to represent the organization on their campuses, fellows will be responsible for representing J Street U at orientation, information sessions, and activities fairs each semester. Fellows will be paid $1000/semester and will be expected to work an average of 3-5 hours/week. 

Kirchner Food Fellowship

The Kirchner Food Fellowship is an opportunity for student leaders to be engaged in investment decisions on agriculture-oriented businesses with ground-breaking solutions for global food security. Fellows receive mentoring from networks of investors and engage in a series of face-to-face and on-line educational experiences using learning paradigms that expose them to practical, real-world issues of seed-stage and early-stage investment. Fellows received a small scholarship to travel to a region of the world vulnerable to food shortages in search of solutions that might be expanded globally through a commercial enterprise. The program will cover travel and accommodation costs for the face-to-face meetings throughout the year and provide the capital necessary for investment. Candidates must be enrolled in a university in the United States, Canada or Mexico.

Millennium Fellowship

The Millennium Fellowship is a semester-long leadership development program that happens on university campuses located around the world. Fellows will work together with a cohort of other undergraduate classmates to create sustainable initiatives that produce social good. Leadership training is a key component of the fellowship and fellows will put their newly learned skills into practice immediately as they design projects that are meant to have a social impact from the beginning. Fellows will have access to a global network of other alumni and can continue working on meaningful projects well after their graduation. Applications are reviewed on a monthly basis. 

Rachel Carson Council Fellowship Program

The Rachel Carson Council Fellowship Program is designed to identify outstanding students with a passion for environmental education, organizing, and advocacy and provide them with financial support to carry out valuable projects or campaigns on behalf of the RCC. As a part of the program, students propose projects focused on sustainability and environmental justice that they wish to carry out on their campus or in their community. RCC Fellows receive a $2,000 stipend for their work during the academic year and attend a 2–3-day summer training program with their cohort hosted by RCC staff to sharpen their writing, advocacy, and organizing skills. 

Sondheim Nonprofit Leadership Program

The Sondheim Nonprofit Leadership Program introduces Maryland’s undergraduate and graduate students to the nonprofit sector.  Fellows are paid a stipend of $3,000 for their participation in the program which runs each summer from late May until August. Fellows are placed at a nonprofit organization full-time under the mentorship of a senior-level professional as they learn about functions of nonprofits and examine community needs and social challenges. Fellows work together in groups to put their knowledge and skills into practice, researching a challenge impacting Maryland and designing an innovative way to address the challenge.

Watson Institute Fellowships

The Watson Institute, a unique higher education program for social entrepreneurs, offers several full-ride fellowships each semester that includes full tuition and housing. Fellowships include the MEOT Fellowship, Enlight China Fellowship, Enlight Women’s Fellowship, Golden Bridge Fellowship, Heyman/McConnell Family Education Fellowship, Jane Strode Miller Fellowship (for food and beverage), Luff Peace Fellowship, Sistla Tech Fellowship, Sustainability Fellowship, and Tech Fellowship. Fellowships are available in both the fall and spring semesters. Multiple programs with different application deadlines – check the website for details.

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