The Meaning of Fellowship

The Newman’s Own Foundation is a proud supporter of Net Impact’s Racial Equity and Food Fellowship programs.

As a college student or recent graduate, you may have had a professor or mentor encourage you to apply for a fellowship. A fellowship can add tremendous value to your education and résumé, enabling you to conduct research, turn an idea into a real-life project, or further refine your career goals.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines fellowship in a number of ways, including: a community of interest, activity, feeling, or experience; or meaningful communication for building trust.

The truth is that a fellowship project or work experience can provide each of these things. Net Impact’s Food and Racial Equity Fellowships, funded by Newman’s Own Foundation, enable students to network, develop leadership skills through project implementation, and learn from peers with similar interests. These fellowships provide opportunities to find one’s community and engage students who have passion and are willing to take initiative.

For a select few recent college graduates, Newman’s Own Foundation offers one-year work placements in the nonprofit sector. These real-world experiences are coupled with workshops and leadership-building activities throughout the year that enable Fellows to support and guide one another. Not only do these experiences help Fellows to solidify career goals and assess next steps, but they connect these young leaders with a community of like-minded individuals. Graduates of the Newman’s Own Foundation Fellowship Program become part of an alumni group that can provide further networking opportunities and support.

Newman’s Own Foundation recognizes the need for “fellowship” in its many forms. The foundation supports the building of community and trust by investing in young leaders who are socially minded and highly engaged. It values the development of civic-minded communities, social entrepreneurs, and a diverse nonprofit workforce.

Paul Newman, the actor/philanthropist, created Newman’s Own food company in 1982 and gave 100% of profits to charity. He did so because he felt he had been lucky in life, and he had a personal responsibility to give back. The foundation bearing his name is dedicated to making our world a better place, and that promise includes inspiring and nurturing others who want to do the same.

What does this all mean for you – the student or recent graduate? This means opportunity. Opportunity to pursue your goals, to make meaningful connections, to find like-minded individuals for networking and mutual support. Fellowship is about all of these things and more, so if you can imagine making a difference in your community or pursuing a goal outside your classroom walls, apply for a fellowship and experience these defining moments for yourself.

Samantha Burgan of Newman’s Own Foundation

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