AboutDecember 17th, 2018 by GWV Staff
Generation West Virginia’s Impact Fellowship invites tomorrow’s leaders to work, live and give in West Virginia by offering yearlong, paid fellowships at some of the Mountain State’s most innovative companies. During the course of a year, Impact Fellows work four days a week at one of our participating companies, while dedicating one day a week donating their brain power, time and expertise to projects in partnership with local nonprofit organizations.
Through the Impact Fellowship, Fellows experience first-hand the potential the Mountain State offers driven young leaders. Fellows are employed in innovative work at top West Virginia companies at a minimum salary of $31,000 and receive full benefits in accordance with the employer’s offerings for similar positions. Representing a diversity of sectors and skill sets, Impact Fellows work 32 hours a week applying and further developing their unique professional skills alongside some of the best teams in the state, which value the new perspective and skills that Impact Fellows bring to their work.
The Impact Fellowship is more than an opportunity to work in West Virginia. Through an exciting partnership with Leadership West Virginia, Fellows are connected with the people, leaders, and places that make the Mountain State so great. Each quarter, Fellows gather for cohort retreats hosted in different locations across the state. Over the course of two days, Fellows learn from and speak with innovative thought-leaders and change agents, enjoy new restaurants, and adventure in the wild and wonderful outdoors. These retreats offer time for Fellows to share their experiences, network, and get connected to the exciting things happening in communities across the state. Over the course of the year, Fellows gain a nuanced understanding of the challenges our state faces while having a seat at the table to identify possible creative solutions.
Fellows spend each Friday dedicating their passion and skills to community-based projects with local nonprofits. They are connected with organizations based upon their individual goals and interests. Projects range from direct service volunteering to supporting an organization’s administrative work using specific professional skills, and fellows may choose to volunteer with organizations in 10-week blocks or remain with the same nonprofit for the entire year. Through these Friday projects, Fellows have the chance to learn about and support a wide-range of organizations, seeing firsthand the impact that is possible in even a short period of time.
The Impact Fellowship is modeled after Challenge Detroit, an organization founded in 2012 with the mission of challenging leaders to learn by participating in a year of meaningful employment and intellectual work with local nonprofits. Inspired by Challenge’s results in Detroit, Generation West Virginia developed the statewide Impact Fellowship to attract, retain, and advance young talent in the Mountain State. Since launching in 2017, the Impact Fellowship has generated 53 jobs in the Mountain State. It is our hope that the Impact Fellowship offers new opportunities for young leaders to stay in West Virginia, come home after having moved away, or experience all the state has to offer for the first time.
The Impact Fellows program is designed not only to give you the professional experience and connections you need to take your career to the next level, but also to provide you with opportunities to give back to your community and develop as a strong leader.
Our goal is threefold – To connect people to opportunities that ensure they can choose West Virginia, connect employers with top talent, and, in doing so, highlight the true potential that exists for the next generation to work and thrive in West Virginia.
Are you ready to make your mark in the Mountain State?
Who should apply
Impact is looking for early- to mid-career innovators and professionals across wide-ranging sectors who are driven to get engaged and make a difference in West Virginia. Unlike many fellowship programs, the Impact Fellowship is not limited to applicants in a certain sector or field of study. This program offers professional work opportunities to qualified designers, architects, marketers, analysts, developers, engineers, artists, managers, bankers, etc. (check out the Companies & Jobs page to check out this year’s positions). While coming from different professional and educational backgrounds, what all Impact Fellows have in common is a drive to make an impact. Impact Fellows are doers. They are change agents in their professional workplaces and in their communities. They don’t back down from complex challenges—in fact, they are driven to help find new solutions. And they are eager to dive into this work in West Virginia. If this sounds like you, we want to hear from you.
Application and Selection Process
The application process consists of two phases. Phase 1 consists of basic applicant information including detailed information on the professional skillsets you bring to the program as well as an attached resume. Selected applicants move on to Phase 2, which consists of two essay questions and a one minute video submission. Using both Phase 1 and Phase 2 materials, Host Employers select top choice candidates to invite as Finalists to attend the in-person Interview Day in March 2020. Following Interview Day, Host Employers and Finalists both submit their rankings and preferences. After a matching process, the cohort of Impact Fellows are announced in April. If selected, you will work September 2020 to August 2021 at an innovative employer in West Virginia for four days a week and volunteer with local nonprofit organizations every Friday.
2020 Applications Open: December 10, 2019