7 Fellowships to Change Careers

May 23, 2017

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Last updated January 24, 2023

Itching to make a lasting impact within your community? Considering a career change to better help those in need? Check out these fellowships and grants for a career change to the social sector. Funding is available to movers and shakers in a range of professional stages including recent graduates, second-career professionals, and experienced mid-career professionals.

Fuse Executive Fellows

After spending 15+ years in the private sector, spend a year working in the trenches with our country’s most visionary mayors and governors to help solve real community problems. Starting on their first day, Fellows are enrolled in the Fuse Corps Leadership Institute, a black-belt program for civic entrepreneurs that draws from the best practices of leading for-profit, public and social sector organizations, including McKinsey & Company and the Stanford d.school. You’ll learn how government works (and doesn’t) and discover new ways to address the challenges facing our country. Fellows receive a $90,000 stipend in their Fuse Corps placement.

Education Pioneers Summer Fellowship

Education Pioneers launches and advances the careers of professionals who are eager to discover opportunities to use expertise in data, operations, policy, and more to make a difference for students and families from outside the classroom. The Fellowship’s summer track is a 10-week summer experience that exposes you to high-potential career paths and the impact you could make as an education leader. The Fellowship’s career track is an on-ramp to meaningful full-time jobs and long-term roles at leading organizations throughout the education sector (rolling deadline). Check the website for multiple deadlines.

Advanced Leadership Initiative

Through the Advanced Leadership Initiative, Harvard is seeking to tap the experience of a socially conscious generation of leaders and help redirect and broaden their skills to fill critical leadership gaps in solving major social issues. Each year, a select group of Fellows from diverse sectors with a track record of achievement and accomplishment come to Harvard to transition from their primary income-earning careers and prepare for their next phase plan as change agents for society. ALI provides support commensurate with AL Fellows’ status and stage of life, including shared office suite space, provision for spouse or partner to enroll in AL Partner Program, and special invitations to join other Harvard events. 4 deadlines for expression of interest each year.

AAUW Career Development Grants

Career Development Grants provide funding to women who hold a bachelor’s degree and are preparing to advance or change careers or reenters the workforce. Primary consideration is given to women of color and women pursuing their first advanced degree or credentials in nontraditional fields. Grants of $2K – $12K provide support for course work beyond a bachelor’s degree, including a master’s degree, second bachelor’s degree, certification program, or specialized training in technical or professional fields at an accredited U.S. university. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

Teach For America

Teach For America (TFA) is a national teacher recruitment program that aims to eliminate educational inequity by enlisting recent college graduates and professionals to teach for two or more years in low-income communities throughout the United States. Corps members attend an intensive 5 week summer institute to prepare for their commitment and then are placed in schools in urban and rural areas. Uncertified corps members receive alternative certification through coursework taken while completing the program. TFA teachers are full-fledged faculty members at their schools, receiving the normal school district salary and benefits.

Encore Fellowships

Encore Fellowships are designed to deliver new sources of talent to organizations solving critical social problems. These paid, time-limited Fellowships match skilled, experienced professionals at the end of their midlife careers with social-purpose organizations. During the Fellowship period (typically six to 12 months, half to full time), the Fellows take on roles that bring significant, sustained impact to their host organizations. Applications open in U.S. cities and London, U.K. with varying deadlines. Please check the website for details.

TNTP Teaching Fellows

TNTP Teaching Fellows is a rigorous alternative certification program that recruits and trains talented career changers and recent college graduates to be outstanding teachers in high-need schools across the country. You choose where you want to teach. There are programs in Baltimore, Charlotte, DC, Fort Worth, Indiana, Nashville, New York City and New Orleans. After successfully completing summer training and securing a teaching position at a local school, you will begin teaching full-time, earning a full teacher’s salary. Throughout the year, you will receive personalized coaching.

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