Many young professionals and post-secondary students find themselves in a similar situation: they don’t have the professional experience to get a job, but they can’t get the experience without one.
Enter the Emerging Leaders’ Fellowship (ELF) to provide opportunities that work to address this dilemma for 18 to 35 year-olds. It’s an initiative of The Winnipeg Foundation created to encourage this demographic to learn more about the charitable sector through hands-on experience.
Fellowship applicants propose one major project over which they can take ownership, working in partnership with a local charitable agency. As they increase their understanding of community issues, they directly benefit the community through their work at the selected agency.
“[Our fellow] brings her background, experience and a different generational perspective and way of thinking to what we do; she is helping us to step out of our patterns, to imagine, to think of new possibilities for our work.” said Viola Prowse, Executive Director of the Child Nutrition Council of Manitoba (CNCM).
CNCM is the first partner agency to participate in the ELF program. In spring 2013 ELF fellow, Emma Fieldhouse, 23, proposed her project, Capturing Community Wealth for Kids’ Health, to the organization and was approved for a fellowship grant from The Winnipeg Foundation to implement it. This was the first intake for the program. For more on the project, click here.
ELF is providing much-needed opportunities in the community by establishing important staffing resources and building new relationships in the charitable sector. Young professionals and post-secondary students gain valuable work experience by designing and implementing a project with a partner agency, and this opportunity will help successful applicants to prepare for future career possibilities.
In the first few months of her year-long project, Fieldhouse indicates she is already developing a unique knowledge base on the inner-workings of non-profit, and she feels this will be useful to her in her future professional endeavours.
“[Through ELF] I am getting to experience things that I haven’t yet in my academic or other work-related experience. I am really looking forward to the rest of the year.” she said.
If you or someone you know may be interested in applying, please click here for program information and downloads. The second intake of the program has begun; applications are due December 2nd, 2013.
Written by Joanna Fultz, The Winnipeg Foundation’s Youth Engagement & Community Grants Coordinator