Year of Service Fellows Program empowers graduates to transform communities

The Year of Service Fellows program presents two distinct paths, each tailored to suit the aspirations and expertise of the participating graduates.

As the saying goes, “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on Earth,” and for recent graduates of Elon University, that sentiment takes on a profound meaning through the Year of Service Fellows program.

This remarkable initiative offers graduates an opportunity to dedicate their skills, knowledge, and passion to make a tangible impact on the lives of Alamance County residents. In this article, we will delve into the heart and soul of this transformative program, exploring its core components, service options, and its resounding mission to foster change, equity, and authentic community relationships.

Service Options: Two Paths to Impact

The Year of Service Fellows program presents two distinct paths, each tailored to suit the aspirations and expertise of the participating graduates.

Let’s take a closer look at these two avenues through which the Fellows can serve:

1) Work within One of Six Community Partner Organizations

In this option, the Year of Service Fellows step into the dynamic world of community service, assuming roles within six key partner organizations. These organizations, Alamance Achieves, Alamance County Health Department, Cone Health/ARMC, Economic Development Department, City of Burlington, Harwood Institute, and Impact Alamance, serve as the bedrock of the program’s mission.

Laurie Judge, senior associate director of career services for Elon College, the College of Arts and Sciences, emphasizes the transformative potential of the program.

“The Year of Service Fellows program offers graduates an exceptional opportunity to develop professionally while directly impacting the lives of those in Alamance County. It’s a powerful way to apply your knowledge and skills to real-world challenges and build authentic community relationships,” Judge said.

The Fellows who embark on this journey are not only committed to meaningful service but are also considered Elon University nonexempt paid employees. With a one-year fellowship contract, they are entitled to all the benefits, including health insurance options, available to a full-time Elon University employee. It’s not just about service; it’s about nurturing and supporting the Fellows throughout their service year.

One of the cornerstones of the program is the robust mentorship provided by site supervisors and Elon faculty mentors. This guidance ensures that the Fellows receive the support they need to navigate the challenges and complexities of their roles. It’s more than just a job; it’s an opportunity for professional growth.

And there’s another incentive for these dedicated individuals. At the culmination of their one-year service, Fellows become eligible for an incentive stipend if they choose to attend graduate school in North Carolina or accept employment in Alamance County or a neighboring county. This additional encouragement not only rewards their service but also entices them to continue contributing to the local community.

2) Teach Within Alamance Burlington School System

The Teach for Alamance Service Fellows Program takes a unique approach, focusing on education as the avenue for change. For graduates with a passion for teaching and the aspiration to make a difference in the lives of K-12 students, this option offers a two-year commitment that leads to a residency license and a meaningful teaching career.

Under this program, Elon graduates are hired by Alamance Burlington School System (ABSS) to teach and support middle and secondary education needs in the county. For those without a teaching license but with a fervent desire to teach, the program opens doors to a fulfilling career.

Eligibility for this opportunity hinges on being hired under the Residency License Program with ABSS. Throughout their fellowship, Elon University provides Teach for Alamance Service Fellows with financial support to earn their teacher licensure. Additionally, these dedicated Service Fellows receive a small stipend each year. Salary and benefits are facilitated through ABSS, ensuring a seamless transition into the education field.

Mission and Vision: A Force for Positive Change

The Year of Service Fellows Program isn’t just about filling roles or positions; it’s about being a driving force for change, equity, and community development. The mission of this program is clear: create measurable impact in the areas of health, economic development, and education within Alamance County.

The program is firmly committed to promoting equity, fostering community service, building authentic relationships, and addressing the pressing needs of the community. In this journey of service, the Fellows work alongside community professionals and residents, engaging in significant projects that address real challenges. Their year of dedicated service becomes a pivotal chapter in their lives, shaping their professional skills and nurturing a deep sense of commitment to the community they serve.

Related Articles

The vision of the Year of Service Fellows Program is one of transformation and sustained change for Alamance County. By facilitating this program, Elon University seeks to be a catalyst for enduring and positive transformation within the community. Through the dedication of the Fellows, the program aims to contribute to a future where equity, education, and community development are not just goals but lived realities.

The Year of Service Fellows Program represents an extraordinary opportunity for Elon University graduates to be part of something larger than themselves. It’s a chance to give back, to teach, to learn, and to foster change. It’s an inspiring reminder that we can all play a part in making the world a better place. Whether you choose to work with partner organizations or teach in local schools, the impact is profound, and the rewards are immeasurable. As these graduates embark on their journeys of service, they carry with them the spirit of giving, the drive for change, and the power to transform lives.