Applications for ’24-’25 Roosevelt Network Fellowships are now CLOSED!
If you applied in Wave 2, or were deferred from Wave 1, you will be notified of a final admissions decision no later than the first week of March.
The Forge Fellowship serves as the entry point for students to the Network and a way to honor the legacy of the late Reese Needer—a Network staff member, organizer, mentor, and friend to many Roosevelters. The Forge Fellowship curriculum develops leadership skills, demystifies policy creation, and empowers students to critically engage in progressive policy discussions aligned with Roosevelt Institute issue areas; all while bringing neoliberalism and its alternatives centrally into fellows’ learning. Forge Fellows are paired with a mentor from the Roosevelt alumni community, and receive our professional development curriculum to level up their networking, interviewing, resume-writing, and cover letter skills.
This fellowship is a stipended opportunity for undergraduate students currently enrolled in full time bachelors degree programs. Forge Fellows develop core policy, research and writing skills, and take their leadership potential to the next level. Participants can expect to participate in workshops that will expand their emotional intelligence and sharpen their public speaking. At the end of this experience, Fellows will have a fundamental understanding of their role in the longer historical arc of the progressive movement, and the paths they can take to contribute their skills to the causes they care deeply about.
Why is it called the Forge Fellowship?
The Forge Fellowship was created in memory of Reese Needer. Reese worked to build civic infrastructure that would confront the individual challenges faced by communities frequently neglected by political organizing. Reese recognized the untapped potential for progressive power in many of our diverse, hardworking, and often overlooked communities—largely in the Midwest. His life’s work was dedicated to building that power: He founded Forge Columbus to encourage civic innovation in Ohio, worked for the Obama campaign as the youth vote director in Pennsylvania, and served as policy director for the Roosevelt Network. This fellowship seeks to empower a new generation of leaders like Reese who enthusiastically envision and push for progressive policy change in their communities.
What will the experience look like?
Virtual Summer Intensive (June – July 2024, with time off for July 4th)
Fellows complete a five-week training program over the summer that introduces them to the core skills and information they’ll need to be successful in Fall semester programming. Students should expect to spend two to three hours per week in training sessions, two to three hours per week completing individual work on program assignments, and three to four hours in 1-1 advising meetings or office hours throughout the full training period.
All trainings will be held virtually via Zoom, and will include:
- All-cohort training sessions once per week;
- One-on-one check-ins with their staff advisor;
- Individual work on deliverables each week using digital tools like Google Docs to collaborate with your staff advisor;
- Virtual social events for the entire cohort;
Hyde Park Conference (one of the first two weekends of August)
Forge Fellows are required to attend the in-person Network Fellows Conference at the FDR Memorial Library and Museum for a long weekend of training, community building, engagement with senior Roosevelt Institute staff, and deep reflection on the enduring legacy of the Roosevelts. All costs for travel, lodging, and food will be covered by the Roosevelt Institute.
Fall Semester (August – December 2024)
Fellows will continue their work virtually during the course of the fall semester, and can expect to spend about 5 hours every week on fellowship work which includes:
- Continued one-on-one check-ins with their staff supervisor every two to three weeks;
- Individual work on assignments each week, such as policy research, professional development, and analyzing policy recommendations in their issue area.
- Monthly trainings, policy discussions, and career exploration events as a fellowship cohort;
- Check-ins with an alumni mentor for professional development support and career exploration (more details below);
Mentorship & Career Exploration
Each fellow is connected to a Roosevelt alumni to help support them throughout the fellowship year and beyond. Mentors provide personal support and guidance to the fellows, and assist with career exploration. This includes things like helping fellows identify different career paths that align with their values and skills, attending digital events in different industries together, providing professional connections to the fellows, and supporting fellow’s resume and cover letter writing.
What You’ll Gain From this Fellowship:
- An understanding of Roosevelt’s world-view and the ability to explain to others the trends in our economy and democracy that have led us to — and can lead us out — of the current American policy landscape;
- Opportunities to develop your policy analysis and research skills and build the confidence to effectively communicate your analysis to stakeholders;
- The skills and tools necessary for coalition building, including effective communication, broad outreach skills, and power mapping;
- An strong resume and cover letter, and a better understanding of the progressive professional pathways available to you;
- A network of academic and professional support from Roosevelt Network staff, your personal mentor, the broader community of mentors, and the national network of Roosevelt alumni;
- A lifelong welcome into to Reese’s “wolfpack” community and the Roosevelt Network
Students will complete this fellowship in the community where they live and/or attend school. This seven month experience will require that students have capacity for real-time, virtual training sessions. Applicants must also be geographically located within the United States for the duration of the fellowship – we cannot accommodate international time differences or offer asynchronous engagement opportunities at this time.
Other than the Hyde Park Conference, all other program aspects will be held via video conference software (Zoom/Google Hangouts). Applicants should be prepared to arrange access to wifi during program activities and for work on deliverables. i.e. accessing your local public or university library.
Every Forge Fellow will be paid a stipend of $2,000, distributed in two equal payments over the course of the summer bootcamp and fall semester. Receiving each stipend installment is conditional on meeting the commitments of the program, reviewed and agreed upon at the end of each semester.
You should apply if you:
- Are a current undergraduate student enrolled in a full time bachelor’s degree program who has completed at least one semester of college and who will not be transferring or graduating in the next academic year;
- Are an undergraduate student enrolled in a college or university in the United States. Roosevelt Network cannot accept students attending non-US institutions at this time;
- Have the capacity to dedicate two to three hours every week during the summer, and two to three hours every month during the Fall 2023 semester, to real-time, virtual, training sessions;
- With the exception of temporary travel lasting less than 2 weeks, will be located within the United States for the duration of the fellowship experience (June – December 2024). This program requires in-real-time training engagement – we cannot accommodate international time differences or offer asynchronous engagement opportunities at this time;
- Are passionate about making local policy changes aligned with the following policy topics:
- Corporate Power (e.g. antitrust, anti-monopoly, or combatting corporate concentration)
- Worker Power (e.g. worker justice, labor protections, or higher education)
- Climate Justice (e.g. environment protections, green jobs, or environmental racism)
- Race & Democracy (e.g. gerrymandering, closing the racial wealth gap, and economic reparative policy)
How do you apply?
The application for the ’24 Forge Fellowship is now closed!