Member Group Fellows – Application Guidance

Introduction

Dwight Hall at Yale has administered Fellowship-style programming for over fifty years, and administers several academic-year opportunities, such as the Dwight Hall Urban Fellows and Public School Interns. In the last five years, Dwight Hall has grown its Fellowship programming to include additional students through programs like the Community Mental Health Fellows or Community Response Fellows. All of these programs are designed for Yale undergraduates to have intensive experiences learning from New Haven community partners.

Following these successful expansions, Dwight Hall is launching a new Fellowship program in 2022-2023 to target student leaders from Dwight Hall Member Groups that act as key partners for community organizations.

This program is designed to:

  • Increase the long-term commitment of students to a community partner organization.
  • Reduce barriers for students choosing community engagement leadership opportunities.

Students will submit an application detailing a semester-long activity designed in collaboration with a community partner. Funding is limited and selection follows the criteria and preferences listed below.

Eligibility Criteria

The work of Member Groups vary widely, therefore we have designed our eligibility criteria to be flexible. Applications that will be considered will:

  • Be submitted by a Yale undergraduate student involved in a Dwight Hall Member Group.
  • Describe a community-based project or activity that works in partnership with a New Haven-based community organization.
  • Describe a project or activity with a weekly commitment and commitment for the academic year.
  • Have written and ongoing support from a specific point of contact at the host organization.
  • NOT describe the administrative functions of student organization leadership.
  • Specifically describe how the student performs a unique leadership role for the project.
  • Ideally produces volunteer opportunities for other Yale students.
  • Ideally supports students that receive Financial Aid from Yale University.

Additionally, there may be consideration for whether this proposal works to benefit pressing societal needs, namely a response to COVID-19 and/or creating an anti-racist society.

Finally, Member Group Leadership Fellows are NOT transferrable to future student leaders, though future students are welcome to apply.

Examples of Desirable Community-Based Projects/Activities

  • The fictional group “Yalies for Mentorship” works with a New Haven after school program to perform on-site mentoring on a weekly basis. The applicant shows how they lead communication with the community partner, recruit other Yale students, and act as the main point of contact for the program for both the community partner and other volunteers.
  • Another fictional group “No More Hunger” partners with agencies that work to end food insecurity. The applicant shows how they perform key functions on behalf of the group, including note-taking for topic-based community conversations, managing internal/external communications, and leading advocacy efforts that galvanize action by Yale students and/or other communities. The student also shows how they receive mentor-like support from one community expert.
  • The final fictional group “Students Committed to Social Justice” works closely with a common good legal organization to design projects that are appropriate for Yale students and benefit the attorneys. The applicant shows how they work closely with the organization to design and organize these projects and support students’ execution.

Expectations and Compensation

Dwight Hall expects:

  • Activities to last one semester, but may be renewable for the spring at Dwight Hall’s discretion.
  • Student engagement with the project to average 6-8 hours per week.
  • Activities to follow the most recently updated COVID safety guidelines of your community partner, Dwight Hall at Yale, and Yale University.
  • A written weekly reflection over the course of the semester.
  • A weekly check-in with peers.
  • Collaboration with the communications and/or fundraising activities of Dwight Hall.

Dwight Hall will offer:

  • A Service Award of $300.00 per semester for students that do not receive Financial Aid.
  • A Service Award of $15.00 per hour for students that receive Financial Aid.
  • Platforms for reflection and community-building.
  • Communication channels between students and supervisors.
  • Professional development and networking opportunities.

Deadlines

There will be one formal deadline and, depending on interest, applications will be accepted on a rolling basis following this date.

  • Fall Deadline – Monday, October 3rd, then rolling

Application

The application is comprised of several short answer (150-200 word) and some long answer (500 word) questions. Applicants will be asked to share information about themselves, the activity they hope to take on, and the nature of their relationship with their guiding community partner.

Before completing the form, students should consider their answers to these questions:

  • Please provide a brief description of your activity. (150-200 words)
  • Demographic information on your sponsoring agency and mentor, including a date that you expect a support letter to be provided.
  • Briefly describe your relationship with your sponsoring agency and how you will work with your supervisor/mentor. (100-150 words)
  • Describe additional context for the work you’re doing, including history and current community work that addresses this topic. (500 words)
  • Describe any personal/professional motivations for pursuing this activity (500 word limit).
  • Describe your specific responsibilities in carrying out this action. Why are you the right person to fill this role right now? (150-200 words)
  • Describe how this activity creates additional community engagement opportunities for Yale students (150-200 words).
  • Describe how, if successful, this project is beneficial to your community partners and the people they serve. How will you know? (150-200 words).
  • Please describe how this activity may impact your academic and/or professional career. (150-200 words)

Upon submission, a copy of your responses will be sent to your email address and to staff at Dwight Hall at Yale.  Your supervisor/mentor will also be notified that an application has been submitted.

Letter of Support

The application may be submitted without a Letter of Support, but a funding decision cannot be made until a Letter of Support has been submitted. This person will serve as a supervisor and mentor for the duration of your experience.

Please see this link for a preferred Letter of Support format.

Selection Process

Each applicant is screened to ensure that the student and activity meet basic eligibility requirements. Then the application is reviewed by a committee of Dwight Hall professional staff, students, and community advisors with these evaluative questions.

  • Feasibility – does the student clearly describe an actionable project?
  • Knowledge – does the student clearly describe the context of the project?
  • Partnership – does the student clearly describe how this project works in partnership with a community member?
  • Leadership – does the student clearly describe how they fill a unique leadership role within the project, and how they will create service opportunities for other students?

Application

With confidence, proceed to the Opportunity listing or find the application in the following link:

https://yalesurvey.ca1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_6xjMRJTudEIccuy

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