Work First Blog Archive
2019-2020 FELLOWSHIP COHORT
It’s time to meet the first member of the Brooklyn team! Meet Sarah, a recent graduate of Rice University with a passion for analyzing socioeconomic disparities in housing, education, and criminal justice. In the America Works of New York office in Brooklyn, she has an opportunity to gain firsthand experience working with the individuals who face the very disparities she researched in her studies.
Some people like long walks on the beach, and then there's Brandon, the Work First Fellow located in the America Works office in Bronx, New York. When he needs a moment or two away from the fast pace of the office, he likes to take long walks in his Bronx neighborhood, which he calls his “beautiful neck of the woods.”
Addie Lipson was already an experienced community activist and organizer in Milwaukee, WI when she decided to become a Work First Fellow. She did so because she wanted to continue to create positive change for her city while working one-on-one with individuals who have been harmed the most by the city’s structural segregation and economic policies.
Elizabeth Cottle—or Liz, as we know her—is a native New Yorker, a summa cum laude graduate from Binghamton University, a global traveler, and as of recently, a veritable expert on reviewing resumes. One of three Work First Fellows located in Manhattan, NY, Liz spends most of her time at the America Works 5th Avenue office teaching weekly lessons and working one-on-one with American Works clients to prepare for interviews and, of course, review their resumes.
The Work First Foundation recently said hello to its 7th cohort of Work First Fellows when they arrived in New York City for a 3-day orientation. The 2019-2020 cohort, which includes high-achieving recent graduates from colleges and universities across the country and young professionals who advocated for various causes both in the US and abroad, is brought together by the common goal to make a direct impact in the lives of underserved individuals living in poverty by helping them gain meaningful employment.
2018-2019 FELLOWSHIP cohort
On June 13, 2019, the 2019 Work First Research Symposium took place at the Crosby Street Hotel in SoHo, New York. There, the 2018-2019 cohort of Work First Fellows presented their research findings to an audience of government leaders, policy experts, and staff members from the Work First Foundation and America Works. The research projects that the Fellows chose to pursue were informed and inspired by their experiences serving low-income individuals and public welfare recipients at their respective sites.
In March, the fellows were able to experience Washington D.C. behind the scenes. They had the opportunity to have one on one conversations with some D.C.’s notorious think tanks. This included resident fellow, Matt Weidinger from American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and senior fellow, Elaine C. Kamarck Brooking Institution. An intriguing discussion was held regarding welfare reform and how different perspectives and historical events had impacted their work in politics.
On Thursday, November 15, the New York Fellows attended the NationSwell summit in Chelsea. The Summit featured this question for America: “Where do we go from here?” Fellows heard speakers introduce products designed to mitigate the effects of climate change, the idea of a Constitutional amendment to regulate campaign contributions, and the push to convince companies to relax their requirements that applicants have a college degree.
Applications for the new Work First fellowship class opened up on September 5th! We are excited to hear from students of diverse backgrounds on why you want to be a fellow with the Work First Foundation. We understand the process of applying for a job can be quite nerve wrecking and can leave a lot of unanswered questions. We have compiled a list of FAQs from previous fellows to help future fellows navigate the process with a little more ease.
Recently, 2018-2019 Fellows Tabitha Krondorfer (Washington DC) and Ramsey Daniels (Brooklyn) caught up with some previous Work First fellows to find out what they were up to as well as how their time at Work First and America Works was both rewarding and preparatory in their current lives. Here’s what they had to say.
2017-2018 Fellowship COHORT
Last month, the 2017-2018 Fellowship class finally had the opportunity to present their findings from the research projects they conducted throughout this past year at the 2018 Work First Fellowship Symposium. Each Fellow had the opportunity to focus on a topic that both aligns with their interests and investigates how to empower low-income individuals in the 21st century workforce.
Rachel Gordon and Ivana Osmanovic are both finishing up their Fellowship years at the America Works Brooklyn site, located in Downtown Brooklyn. The two major career service programs that the Brooklyn site operates are CareerAdvance and YouthPathways, bringing approximately 150 clients through their doors daily.
Last month, the 2017-2018 Work First Foundation Fellowship class had the opportunity to travel to the nation’s capital for a weekend of professional development and sightseeing activities. This was a weekend greatly anticipated by all, as it was the first time since the fellowship year began in July that Fellows from each of the offices, spread nationwide, were able to reunite in one place.
Frances McGinley is completing her fellowship in the San Francisco office and is the only Work First Fellow on the West Coast. America Works in San Francisco primarily serves the justice involved population, which includes any individuals who ever been arrested or served time in jail or prison.
Adam Schutzman provides an update on his Fellowship site.
2016-2017 fellowship COHORT
A summary of the 2017 Work First Fellows research presentations.
A recap of the Fellows’ two-day professional development workshop.
A Fellow reviews the WFF Baltimore Ex-offender Re-entry program.
A look at the definition of food insecurity and the dietary challenges facing the poor.
A Fellow recaps a forum on policing by NYCPD Commissioner William Bratton.