Workshop Replay: How to Create a Stand-Out Application for The Mind Trust School Fellowship

Nov 04, 2022

Sponsored by The Mind Trust

The Mind Trust was founded in 2006 to help Indianapolis think bigger about education. The Mind Trust invests in public education to transform lives in neighborhoods across Indianapolis. They work with their community toward a day when race and income are no longer predictors of life outcomes. Since their founding, they’ve supported the launch of 45 public schools in Indianapolis and work to empower and support local communities that advocate for the change that they want to see in their education system.

Applying for this fellowship may seem daunting, but ProFellow Founder Dr. Vicki Johnson recently hosted a special workshop to share some tips on creating a stand-out application for The Mind Trust School Fellowship. Watch the full recording of the workshop above!

About The Mind Trust School Fellowship

To support their mission, the Mind Trust is looking for talented, U.S.-based K-12 education leaders to apply for The Mind Trust School Fellowship. This program develops sustainable educational models to launch or restart schools within the Indianapolis Public School district. Fellows spend one to two years preparing to lead a new public school in Indianapolis and receive personalized coaching, resources and training throughout the program, as well as ongoing support once the schools are launched. Learn more about the program and application requirements here.

Fellows can expect guidance and support from previous fellows, like Brandon House and Keeanna Warren, as well as other innovative schools and educators, both domestically and abroad!

Key Focus Areas in the Application (Video: 16:12)

For the first step in the application proces, The Mind Trust School Fellowship application requires a Statement of Intent. This application component asks you to complete several short essays in addition to providing your resume. These essays should showcase your school proposal, as well as the skills and personal values you would bring to the fellowship.

One essay asks you to describe your leadership journey. Leading an initiative of this scope requires strong leadership skills and experience. We encourage you to lean into your narrative and tell the application readers how you got to where you are today and why this experience is important to you. The application also asks you to discuss any entrepreneurship experience. Starting or rebuilding a school is entrepreneurial. Being able to problem solve, work with limited funds, and adapt to a rapidly changing environment are all skills that will serve you well in this fellowship.

Other topics include demonstrating an equity mindset, a focus on student growth and achievement, and community leadership experience. For a more detailed review of the application, watch the full workshop replay.

Opening slide from The Mind Trust School Fellowship application workshop led by ProFellow founder, Dr. Vicki Johnson


Tips as You Prepare Your Application (Video: 24:20)

1. Plan ahead

Take a look at the application and prepare as much as you can before putting it into the application portal. The application must be completed in one sitting, so be sure to polish and check for errors before submitting. It’s a long application, so preparing in advance will save you time and prevent losing information due to technology troubles.

2. Keep your essays brief

Be sure to make your essays clear and concise. Ideally, your essay responses should be 1.5-2 pages long. Do your best to provide specific examples and metrics where appropriate.

3. Update your resume

You may not have updated your resume in a while. Make sure that what you submit is current and reflects your recent positions, skills, achievements, and any volunteer experiences.

4. Attend The Mind Trust Office Hours!

The Mind Trust team hosts several Zoom Office Hours events throughout the application cycle. Utilize these sessions to learn more about the program, ask questions about the application process, and get to meet the people at The Mind Trust. Office hours are also great opportunities to learn if this is the right opportunity for you or if The Mind Trust may have other opportunities you’d enjoy.

3 Keys to Creating a Stand-Out Application: ProFellow Strategies (Video: 28:21)

1. Align your proposal with The Mind Trust’s mission

Because The Mind Trust is a goal-oriented organization, your application should address and align closely with its mission and values. Look at previously approved proposals, the organization’s history, and past fellows to learn more about what projects have been successful. Then, consider how you’d apply your personal goals and strengths to benefit the education system in Indianapolis.

2. Address your impact

After making sure your goals align, think about the impact you want your school to make. What needs are you addressing? How does your proposal achieve those goals? Consider both the immediate impacts (during the two-year fellowship) and the long-term impacts you want to achieve at both the school and community levels.

3. Ensure your proposal is feasible

Finally, make sure your proposal is feasible. You want to present a proposal with ambitious goals, but not so difficult that the goals are unlikely to be achieved. Honestly assess your skills, expertise, goals, and the resources you’ll need to execute your school. If you think there will be any challenges, address them. Don’t forget – you’re not doing this alone! The Mind Trust School Fellowship offers resources, expertise, and a community of experienced fellows that you can leverage for success. Mention how you’d utilize these resources to support your school’s success.

Have More Questions About The Mind Trust School Fellowship?

Attend an upcoming Office Hours event with The Mind Trust team. Many dates and times are available!

Learn More & Apply Now

Applications are now open through January 9, 2023 for The Mind Trust School Fellowship!

To be considered, please complete your Statement of Intent in The Mind Trust application portal by January 9, 2023. Applicants will be notified in January 2023 if they are invited to continue on in the application process. Fellows will be selected by March 2023 and will begin the Fellowship experience in Summer 2023.

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