About The Work First Fellowship

The Work First Fellowship connects young professionals with the opportunity to have a direct impact on urban poverty. Fellows work one-on-one with individuals living below the poverty level to help them find employment and get back on their feet, while also conducting policy research on effective job placement programs.

This service year combines direct support to the needy while also reviewing public policy that shapes the lives of their clients.




Fellows roll up their sleeves and make meaningful change to the lives of the unemployed.

  • Fellows give adult learners the ability to reshape their future by teaching High School Equivalency, Computer Literacy, and English as a Second Language courses, all while utilizing their creativity to influence the curricula
  • Fellows learn the strengths and shortcomings of their adult students and act as mentors to meet educational and professional goals
  • Fellows provide an energy and enthusiasm to adult education and encourage individuals to earn a degree or certificate that will open doors to employment


Fellows obtain a unique perspective through a combination of direct service and policy research

  • Fellows utilize their relationships with students to overcome systemic and personal obstacles
  • Fellows coordinate and collaborate with experts in various fields of policy, education and government to guide their research
  • Fellows meet with policy makers, educators and influential leaders to expand their resources

Read more about the 2016-2017 Fellowship Class's Research Topics!

Fellows meet with professors to learn how they can make a difference moving forward

Fellows meet with professors to learn how they can make a difference moving forward


the fellowship network

The program welcomes young adults of all backgrounds and interests, creating a group of diverse, intelligent, energetic, and caring professionals. Program alumni have gone on to become Lawyers, Public Policy Experts, Civil Servants, Business Leaders and Educators.  Alumni support transitioning fellows in the next step of their promising careers.

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Urban Visionary Award

The Work First Urban Visionary Award goes to a fellow who's curiosity, compassion and commitment to urban poverty leads to extraordinary impact on the clients he or she serves. The recipient makes tremendous strides in public policy, research or in the classroom.