During my senior year of college, I applied to numerous jobs and attended a variety of large networking events, but had a hard time getting that elusive post-graduation job. Around the same time, I applied to a three-week international fellowship and was accepted! The fellowship turned out to be an invaluable experience that set me on a path to founding Future Leaders in Action. Post-fellowship, I started applying to jobs again and noticed that it was an entirely different experience - I felt confident and had numerous professional examples to call upon all from my three-week fellowship experience. I finally got a job.
After this, I started sharing the value I found in the fellowship with people around me. I began to see the missing piece, which the fellowship helped fill for me. I wished that more people could have access to high-quality professional development and leadership opportunities, especially, people who cannot afford the luxury of unpaid internships or are not provided with traditional leadership opportunities such as non-traditional and first generation college students.
Based on these observations, we founded Future Leaders in Action in 2015.
As a result of my experience, one of our top priorities has become empowering fellows to realize the extent of their abilities and to gain the confidence needed to effect change where their passion lies. We select fellows with leadership potential, but often the fellowship is the first chance they have to lead a project that they can really take ownership of. By the end of the fellowship, they have proven that they are capable of leading a project, not only to themselves, but to others. They have the confidence and skills to further work towards their passions. With each cohort of fellows, I continue to feel it is a privilege to witness their growth. I can't wait to see the impact each of them will make as they continue their careers.