Springboard has been supporting families in low-income housing communities since 2013. Over that time, we have been inspired by countless stories, built deep relationships, and watched residents recognize the power and strength they have to set and achieve their goals for themselves and their families. As our work continues to grow and expand, both we and our families are becoming more keenly aware about the ways systems, policies, and community structures and norms play an important role in their ability to reach their goals and create thriving communities where everyone has the opportunity to succeed.
That’s why we are excited to announce our new Springboard Fellowship programs that kicked off in March! So far, we have launched our Policy and Systems Change Fellowship and a Workforce Development Fellowship with plans to begin an Education Fellowship and a Youth Fellowship before the end of 2022. These fellowships are intended to support residents in having more comprehensive support in achieving and planning for larger goals and dreams, building connections with peers and broadening their own networks and social capital, and recognizing the larger systems and policies that affect their daily lives and ability to achieve their goals.
In the Policy and Systems Change Fellowship, fellows are building a community of support, learning to hone their own power and expertise, understanding the impacts of policy decisions, and starting to build advocacy tools and skills. Fellows will connect with local and national policymakers, organizers, and community leaders, helping them understand the ins and outs of policy making while recognizing their own expertise and knowledge — particularly regarding policies that affect low-income families. Throughout the fellowship, fellows will be working to identify, develop, and implement a self-designed community project around an issue area that is important to them.
The Workforce Development Fellowship is designed to support residents who have established career goals and are looking for the next steps in achieving them. Fellows are building connections with their peers and other local leaders who can support them and start building out their network as they look toward potential jobs and career changes. They will also be working with Springboard staff and coaches on goal setting, action planning, and ensuring that they have the resources and connections to take the next steps on their plans. Throughout all this, they will also be learning to recognize the systems that are often at play that prevent them from achieving their goals or taking the next steps in their careers and learning to advocate for their needs and more equitable workforce policies.
We are continuing to develop and design our Education Systems Fellowship and Youth Fellowship alongside our residents to ensure they align to their needs and interests and look forward to sharing more about those soon. But for now, we hope you’ll join us in recognizing and celebrating these incredible women who are learning to own their power, know their expertise, and lead the change toward a new and better world for all of us!