On September 12, seventy-five high school students, their parents, and teachers nervously entered the auditorium at the School Without Walls to kick off the 2013- 14 LearnServe Fellows Program. Just two weeks later, after our overnight retreat at the FLOC Outdoor Education Center in West Virginia, those nervous introductions had turned to hugs and smiles. Our newest LearnServe Fellows are ready for an exciting year of cross-school collaborations and social innovation!
This is my second year serving as Fellows Program Manager, and the first time I have been involved in each stage of the recruitment and planning process. I am excited to share with you some of the changes we’ve made to this year’s Fellows Program:
• New Team Members: Darrell Scott, Rosemarie McBean, and Ryan Dalton will be joining the LearnServe Fellows Program team. Darrell brings an interest in lean start-ups and scaling social innovation through his work at Accelerate Change. Rosemarie and Ryan bring a range of international development experience, through their work at IRD and American University’s School of International Affairs respectively. They have jumped into the program with both feet, allowing us to add a third cohort and a lower student to facilitator ratio.
• Venture Mentors 2.0: LearnServe’s talented all-star volunteer Shelley Rood has recruited a dynamic team of mentors to coach our LearnServe Fellows and alumni throughout the year. Our new concept will match pairs of mentors with groups of 6 Fellows or alumni for one semester. Want to become a Venture Mentor? Click here for more information.
• Training of Trainers: LearnServe’s Program Leader and curriculum specialist Eric Goldstein has taken on the new role of “teacher mentor.” He will be coaching the team to think even more closely not only about the content we teach, but also how we teach it – especially exciting as LearnServe prepares to share its social entrepreneurship curriculum beyond the DC area.
• Capital One Cluster: With support from Capital One, LearnServe will be offering supplemental opportunities to students and advisors at select LearnServe partner schools in Washington, DC and Prince George’s County. Located at participating schools but open to all Fellows, these programs will offer a deeper introduction to financial literacy, professional skills training, and local guest speakers.
With such a large group of stellar leaders, I am confident that this year’s Fellows Program will be better than ever. By providing more one-on-one support to our students, building stronger relationships with our partner schools, and improving our teaching strategies we are even more equipped to help all of our Fellows reach their ambitious goals.
And we hope you’ll join us in cheering them on along the way! Join us on Thursday, December 12 for our 7th Annual Innovators’ Coffee House, and Thursday, April 10 for our LearnServe Panels and Venture Fair. (Make sure to mark your calendars now!)