Frequently Asked Questions


Q. What do Fellows do?

Working in partnership with non-profits, city agencies, and schools, Fellows take action to improve the lives of young people by:

  • Serving as mentors in young people’s lives
  • Providing children with safe places and structured activities during out of school time
  • Leading academic enrichment activities
  • Facilitating college and career exploration programs
  • Coming together in community for meetings and connection

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Q. What are some of the criteria for a Fellow project?

Fellow projects:

  • Are out-of-school time projects working with youth in grades 6-12
  • Are new projects or an expansion of an existing project
  • Have a large-scale impact
  • Are Fellow-led or are a Fellow-led portion of a larger project

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Q. What kind of background do Fellows have?

Fellows are recruited from across the country and come from diverse background. The average age of a Fellow is 21-25, however we do not have an age cap. All Fellows exhibit:

  • A passion for serving and supporting young people
  • Proven leadership skills and the desire to learn and grow in this area
  • Excellent communication skills
  • A commitment to social justice and education equity
  • Demonstrated task management and organizational experience

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Q. What organizations do Fellows serve with?

Fellows have served in over fifty communities across Massachusetts—from Boston to Pittsfield and from Lowell to Hyannis. Fellows have served with organizations both large and small, including non-profits, schools, and city agencies. See our new sites for 2021-2022 on our How to Apply page!

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Q. What do Fellows receive for their service?

For an 10.5 month commitment and 1,700 hours of service Fellows receive:

  • Taxable annual living allowance up to $18,000*
  • Health benefits
  • Excellent training opportunities
  • Free graduate and undergraduate courses at Northeastern University’s College of Professional Studies and discounted courses upon program completion
  • Education award up to $6,345*
  • Transportation allowance to Fellow meetings
  • Loan forbearance
  • Access to a Member Assistance Program

*Pending federal funding

See our full list of Benefits and Resources on our Why be a Fellow

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Q. I am interested in becoming a Fellow, how do I apply?

During the application process you will be asked to select your top five partner sites. We use this information to help us understand if there is more than one opportunity that your skills and experience may fit. This does not mean you will be matched with every selection you make. Only choose partner sites in which your interests and skills align. As service positions are filled, they will no longer appear on the website. If you experience any technical issues with completing the application, please email l.currie@northeastern.edu for support.

  • Read the open service positions. Each opening is linked to its service description which gives you an understanding of the placement site, the role, and the responsibilities.
  • Complete the online application. It should take between 30-45 minutes. Be prepared to choose your site placements, provide contact information for your references, upload your resume, cover letter or audio and work experience in lieu of resume and cover letter.

The Massachusetts Promise Fellowship provides reasonable accommodations for candidates with disabilities at every stage of the application process. Disclosing a disability or requesting a need for accommodations is a separate process from admissions and will have absolutely no bearing on a candidate’s application status. The Massachusetts Promise Fellowship will make every effort to meet your request, but specific requests are not guaranteed. All disclosed information will be kept confidential within the Massachusetts Promise Fellowship and only shared with prospective site placement if requested by the candidates.

If you need to request an accommodation, please contact our Lauren Currie at l.currie@northeastern.edu.

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Q. What happens after you submit an application to be a Fellow?

  1. You will typically receive a notification email within one week of submitting your application about your status. If we need to collect more information about your application, we will reach out via email. Please note, when you submit your application you will not receive a confirmation email. If it has been more than one week since you submitted your application and have not heard from us, email Alysé Bigger at a.bigger@northeastern.edu to inquire about the status.
  2. First round video interviews are an opportunity for the Massachusetts Promise Fellowship Leadership Team to further determine whether your background and experiences are a fit for available positions. If you are selected for a first-round interview, instructions for signing up will be provided in your email.
  3. Within one week of your video interview, you will receive an email from the Massachusetts Promise Fellowship Leadership Team informing you of the outcome of your interview.
  4. If you are advanced, your application materials will be shared with the hiring manager(s) at the partner site(s) for the role you applied to or are matched with.
  5. The hiring manager at the partner site will follow-up within one week to schedule and conduct your second interview. This will be an opportunity for you to learn about the organization’s culture, responsibilities, support structures, and to assess if the site would be a strong match.
  6. After the second interview, you will rank your partner site preferences and the partner site will do the same. In addition, the Leadership Team at the Massachusetts Promise Fellowship will review overall site alignment and render a decision within a few days. Please note, official offers only come from the Massachusetts Promise Fellowship Leadership Team, not host site placements.
  7. Remember to check your email and follow-up within the appropriate timeframe.

** Matches are not guaranteed. In the case we are unable to match a candidate and a site placement partner, we will review the candidates’ preferences and credentials and consider them for the next round.

Feedback

Given the volume of applications the Massachusetts Promise Fellowship receives, we are unable to provide individual feedback about admissions decisions to applicants who are not accepted at any stage of the application process. However, we will notify each candidate of their status whether they are accepted or not.

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Q. Do you have any helpful tips for the application and interview process?

Application Tips

  1. Do your research. Before applying, read about the Massachusetts Promise Fellowship, AmeriCorps, the partner site(s) of interest, the region the site is located, and the cost of living.
  2. Provide specific information in the work experience fields. Rather than simply writing the title of your position (“Youth Worker”), provide detailed information about your role and responsibilities in that position, as you would in a standard resume. Feel free to use bullet points. Highlight your accomplishments and expertise in education, out-of-school time programming, and youth development. Don’t be modest here!
  3. Check your schedule. To join MPF, you must be able to attend one 2-hour welcome session (offered in June, July and August) and weeklong summer orientation starting August 16, 2021.

Interview Tips

  1. You can never have too much information - do your research!
  2. Know yourself. Think about what information you need to know about MPF, AmeriCorps, and the host site partner in order to say “yes” to a year of service. When you are relaxed and prepared, you are most likely to perform at your best.
  3. Know how to talk about yourself. Be prepared to discuss the skills and knowledge that sets you apart from other candidates.
  4. Attire. Although interviews are conducted virtually, dress as you would for an in-person interview and have your camera on.
  5. Arrive 5-10 minutes early. Arrange to test your technology early so there is minimal chances of you rushing or arriving late.

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Q. What happens after I join the program?

Once you’ve accepted the offer to join the Massachusetts Promise Fellowship, your on-boarding begins with a Summer Welcome session followed by the Pre-Service Experience Kickoff and sustained by monthly professional development meetings. All sessions are mandatory.

Summer Welcome Session

By this time, you should have completed required logistical items such as your background check and fingerprints. MPF does cover the financial cost of these tests but if your meeting is missed, you will be responsible for the rescheduled cost. Many corps members also begin looking for housing during the summer.

Welcome sessions give you an inside look at your benefits, stipend, institutional knowledge, support structures and necessary information to be successful for your year of service. After this session you will be ready to join us for the Pre-Service Experience Kickoff.

Pre-Service Experience Kickoff

The Kickoff is an intensive weeklong immersion that will provide you with the foundations, skills, and mindsets needed to be an effective youth worker. At this time, you will be joined by the entire corps to engage in approximately 20 hours of learning and is the start to you building connections with other Mass Promise Fellows.

By the end of the kickoff you will be ready to begin your first day at your site placement.

Monthly Professional Development

Your day-to-day life as a Mass Promise Fellow corps member will take place at your host site placement where you will interact with students and host site staff. In addition, the MPF leadership team will continue to supplement your learning and development by offering monthly professional development sessions for the entire corps that focus on topics such as positive youth development, adultism, curriculum building, classism, racism, and more. Meetings are led by MPF leadership staff, alumni, and external partners across our network.

These sessions enhance community development, grow corps member practices that can be infused into day-to-day work, and build professional competencies.


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Q. What are some examples of past Fellow projects?

  • Expanded tutoring and academic enrichment programs focused on STEM education to schools throughout the Greater Boston area, reaching more youth and creating a foundation for better MCAS scores in math and science
  • Designed and led college and career exploration program, including workshops, college tours, and mentoring, for youth at an afterschool program.

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Q. What type of training do Fellows receive?

Fellows are required to attend an initial 4-day Pre-Service Experience followed by monthly training sessions from the program. Additional ongoing training and professional development opportunities throughout the year are also available. Fellows participate in a fall and winter retreat in October and March. The Fellow network creates a unique community of that will benefit the Fellow for years to come. Specific training opportunities include:

  • Leadership and team building
  • Social justice training (race, class, LGBTQ+, ableism trainings)
  • Youth development
  • Project planning and implementation
  • Volunteer recruitment
  • Asset-based community development
  • Career coaching
  • Non-profit management

See our full training curriculum on our Leadership Development page!

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Q. Who are the program's partners?

Fellows are part of the national service network of over 100,000,000 AmeriCorps members and alumni. AmeriCorps engages Americans of all ages in intensive, results-driven service each year.

The Fellowship shares its vision with America's Promise. The Massachusetts Service Alliance, Northeastern University, and the College of Professional Studies are also the program's partners.

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Q. What classes can Fellows take at Northeastern?

Fellows are only eligible to take free courses at Northeastern University’s College of Professional Studies during their year of service. Fellows can choose from undergraduate, graduate, and continuing education courses. Courses are offered in the evenings and Fellows also have the opportunity to enroll in online courses.

Fellows interested in taking courses at the College of Professional Studies are required to apply for admission and submit the required application materials. For more information, please visit the College of Professional Studies website at https://cps.northeastern.edu/

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Q. How do Fellows live on $18,000 per year?

Over 550 Fellows have completed the program and were able to live on the $18,000 (or less) annual stipend. Many Fellows have part-time jobs, live with roommates and find other ways to make additional income. In addition, the Fellowship helps out by:

  • Providing Fellows with support to access additional government benefits (i.e. food stamps, healthcare)
  • Providing workshops on budgeting
  • Assisting Fellows with locating affordable housing

Since Fellows receive a stipend and not a wage, they qualify for public assistance. Many Fellows take advantage of this benefit each year and receive food stamps and/or fuel assistance. It is important that all Fellows understand that they are committing to a year of service for the experience, not the paycheck.

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HOST A FELLOW Q&A

Q. What can we expect to achieve by hosting a Fellow?

Hosting a Fellow enables an organization to:

  • Expand services to their community by creating a new youth-focused project
  • Improve the quality and effectiveness of its current youth programming
  • Partner with a network of youth-serving organizations and agencies
  • Benefit from optional trainings and other professional development opportunities

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Q. Is our organization eligible to host a Fellow?

To be eligible your organization must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a non-profit organization—with tax exempt (501(c)3) status—school or government agency
  • In operation for at least one year with one full-time staff member and the capacity to host a Fellow

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Q. What is the timeline for applying to host a Fellow?

For the complete timeline, please visit the How to Host section. In general, host sites will be selected and notified in early spring and Fellows will begin service in August.

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Q. What are some criteria for a Fellow project?

Fellow projects must:

  • Be youth-focused
  • Meet a defined need and benefit young people in grades 6-12
  • Allow the Fellow to work with a consistent group of youth throughout the academic year for at least 5 hours/week
  • Focus on one of our two focus areas (Academic Enrichment, College & Career Exploration)
  • Be a new project or an expansion of an existing project
  • Have large-scale impact
  • Be Fellow-led or be a Fellow-led part of a larger project (Fellows can also be involved with one or more project

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Q. Are there any prohibited activities?

Fellows and Fellow projects cannot:

  • Displace a current employee or serve in a regular staff position
  • Be involved with political advocacy, religious instruction, voter registration, fundraising for host site match/operating expenses, writing federal grants, union organizing or clerical activities
  • Fellows can, however, perform limited administrative duties necessary for their project
  • Sign off on a grant
  • Serve as an assistant
  • Supervise other AmeriCorps members

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Q. How are host-sites selected?

Proposals to host Fellows are reviewed by a community review committee and the Fellowship advisory board that recommend host-site organizations. Final decisions are made by the program staff. Key elements of a successful host-site include:

  • Organizational capacity to develop and manage the project
  • Clearly defined need
  • Realistic goals and objectives with measurable outcomes
  • Alignment with the Fellowship mission
  • Support and training for the Fellow
  • Strong element of project ownership
  • Clear project vision

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Q. What kind of background and training do Fellows have?

Fellows are AmeriCorps members who have committed to a year of service and average between 20-25 years of age. They are leaders from across the country with diverse backgrounds and a passion for community service. Most Fellows are recent college graduates and looking for a hands-on service experience.

Fellows receive an initial orientation and training from the program, as well as ongoing leadership training and professional development opportunities throughout the year. The host-site is responsible for site-specific training and orientation.

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Q. Who is responsible for recruiting and hiring the Fellow?

We ask prospective host-sites to help with the recruiting and hiring process. Hiring is site-specific; sites have a better understanding of the skill set that will allow their particular project to be successful. Therefore, we allow the site to initiate the recruitment and screening process.

The Massachusetts Promise Fellowship is familiar with what it takes to become a respected leader in the service community. We will help advertise the positions, assist in the interviewing process and handle the official hiring of the Fellow with your organization’s approval.

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Q. Can we apply for more than one Fellow?

Yes! Several organizations have had Fellows serving in teams, leading and coordinating a number of
projects together.

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Q. What does the Massachusetts Promise Fellowship provide?

The Massachusetts Promise Fellowship program is committed to the success of each Fellow and their host-site. As our contribution to the partnership with the host-site we provide:

  • A full-time Fellow (~40 hours per week) committed to eleven months (selected in partnership between the program and host-site)
  • In-service leadership and project management training, regular retreats and monthly meetings for the Fellow, including over 170 hours of training as well as optional training opportunities
  • Access to the national service network and associated training and conferences
  • Orientation and training for the host-site and Fellow supervisor
  • Regular site visits to address host-site specific needs and evaluate project goals
  • Administration of Fellow benefits; post-service educational award ($6,345), health insurance, training opportunities, free coursework at Northeastern University’s College of Professional Studies, and a service stipend (up to $18,000 per year).

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Q. What is the host-site required to provide?

Each host-site is required to provide:

  • A clear vision of the project you plan to implement and how the Fellow can be most effectively utilized
  • Supportive leadership from staff and the host-site to ensure that the Fellow is considered and treated as an integral part of the organization
  • One designated host-site supervisor who will provide weekly supervision and support to the Fellow and project and attend two mandatory meetings
  • A cash match to defray a portion of the Fellow benefit costs
  • Adequate workspace for the Fellow including desk, phone, fax, access to computer and office supplies
  • Reimbursement for travel costs incurred as part of the Fellow's service for the host-site (other Fellowship-related travel is paid for by the program)
  • Complete a background check on your Fellow and submit a letter verifying the completed process

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Q. How much is the cash match?

We ask each host-site organization to invest in the partnership by providing a non-federal cash match. The match is used to defray a portion of the total cost of the Fellowship position (training, travel, benefits and living allowance) at your host-site.

The amount of the cash match is based on the organization's total operating budget, including salaries, funds distributed as grants and any other operating costs and ranges from $10,800 to $16,000.

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