The Institute of Engagement, a youth-created and youth-run civic action organization, is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and building community among youth through its youth-produced publication, Shift Press. The Shift Press Youth Fellowship is a stipend-supported opportunity for Houston high school-aged folks to tell their stories, gain knowledge about topics of their interest, and learn how stories impact all community action. The curriculum covers journalistic fundamentals and specifically asks fellows to reimagine community storytelling.
We managed to select our 12 fellows from an applicant pool of over 270. We only expected 50 applications and planned to pick to 8 fellows!
After conducting over 40 interviews over a four-day period, our team of six sat through four hours of deliberations and came out with a cohort of 12. We were tired at the end, but we were all proud of the cohort we ended up with.
We had to push back the start date of the fellowship and our other projects due to the influx of applications. We’re also reshuffling some positions on our team accommodate the larger fellowship, and many of our team members are going back to school.