Fellow Led Courses

Working with adults provides fellows the perspective of what drives adults to go back to school. Many recognize education as a first step towards gaining employment. Others, understand they cannot achieve upward mobility in their work space with out polished math and writing skills. The most motivated students decided they want to attend secondary education and plan on applying to college after school. Many students are also parents, and they are back in school so they cab help their children with school work. Whatever the motivation, fellows work tirelessly to help their students meet their goals. 


High School Equivalency Preparation

Kessie Petit-Frere introducing social studies to her class.

Kessie Petit-Frere introducing social studies to her class.

The Work First Foundation empowers adults through education. Education is a crucial stepping stone towards valuable employment. The Work First Fellowship allows fellows the opportunity to make direct impact in the classroom. Throughout the year long fellowship, adults are connected with anywhere from 100-400 adults seeking to gain their High School Equivalency Diploma (HSE) or GED. Fellows convey patience, persistence and passion to their students as they work together to meet common goals.


New York City is one of the most diverse places on the planet. The city's residents speak 800 different languages. English, however, can be a necessary requirement to gain employment and confidence in English speaking work settings. The Work First Fellows recognize the challenges immigrants and non-English speaking adults face in gaining employment. The fellows work with adults to work on their English speaking and writing!


Soft Skills are identified as an important step in building interpersonal skills, time management, fiscal responsibility and work expectations. Soft skill courses also provide fellows with the opportunity to coach resume and cover letter writing, as well as the most effective tactics in online job search.

The wide variety of subject manner and large class sizes allow Fellows to be creative in their approaches to hit upon major ideas. Where some courses are focused on the detail oriented approach to crafting a job-specific resume, others touch on more abstract concepts like conflict resolution. Clients participate in soft skills by sharing their experiences of success and struggle, making the soft skill classroom one of the most important classroom experiences. 

Occasionally fellows will test new topics to gauge the interest and importance of certain areas with clients. Current fellows have run workshops on HTML/CSS, self efficacy, and nutrition. These lessons help fellows provide important feedback to policy experts, and work force development professionals on how clients respond to a variety of lesson types.   


To navigate the digital divide of both poor communities and the elderly, Work First Fellows provide hands on training in Computer Literacy. Fellows designed a Computer Literacy training regiment that guides both the beginners and the more intermediate computer users. Clients with more advanced skills are also assisted if they pursue coding!