The fellowship initiative

A leadership program designed to support young men of color with college aspirations, prepare them for their entrance into the professional sphere and empower them to be positive leaders in their communities all while acknowledging the realities of living as a member of a marginalized group.

This leadership program is designed to help fellows acquire the skills, knowledge, experience, networks, and other resources they need to succeed academically and professionally through a three year-long journey.

Eligibility Requirements for TFI Fellows:

Fellows intentionally range across the academic middle. It is our philosophy that college is accessible for a variety of learners, that GPA is not a comprehensive indicator of intellect and that college success is determined more by proper support and developed competency in and out of the classroom than through traditional testing. All qualifying candidates and their families must meet the criteria below.

Meeting these requirements qualifies any student identifying as a male person of color to apply for The Fellowship Initiative and the right to an interview of themselves and a guardian. Candidates will not be considered without attending an interview with a legal guardian.

Male student of color, currently enrolled in the 10th grade as of the 2020-2021 academic year

Be consistent attendees at their high school

Hold a minimum weighted GPA of 2.5

Demonstrate good behavioral standing on the basis of teacher/administrator recommendation

Be on track to complete their Texas State Academic Credits by Spring 2023

Demonstrate the strong desire to qualify for a 4 year college/university on the basis of their academic achievement

Commit to active participation in the program for 3 Saturdays a month and 3 weeks during the summer, for 3 years

Ensure their own transportation to and from local Saturday programming

Express the willingness to learn in a space that celebrates racial/ethnic, cultural, religious and economic diversity and is committed to the inclusion and respect of all family structures, sexual and gender identities

Impact of The Fellowship Initiative

40 youth served annually
11603 student learning hours annually
74% of participants improved their writing skills in one or more traits over the course of the program

Participating in The Fellowship Initiative:

Applications for the next cohort will be available in mid April.

Refer a potential Fellow

Nominate yourself as a potential Fellow

thank you jpmorgan chase

Big Thought is grateful to JPMorgan Chase for their vision and support of this program. To date, more than 200 JPMorgan Chase employees have worked with TFI Fellows as mentors, coaches, role models, speakers, or volunteers in various capacities. Since its launch in 2010, the program has been expanded and will recruit new classes of Fellows in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York.

Learn more about JPMorgan Chase’s involvement.