AYLF St. Louis – Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Aspen Young Leaders Fellowship St. Louis?
What global opportunities does being an Aspen Young Leaders Fellow provide me with?
What kind of people are eligible to join the Aspen Young Leaders Fellowship in St. Louis?
What is the age and residency requirement of applicants?
What are the education requirements?
What is the cost of the program?
Is there a stipend for participating in the Fellowship?
What if I have a job? Will the Aspen Institute reimburse participants for missed time during the seminars?
What is the deadline for application submission?
When are interviews?
Are all applicants guaranteed an interview?
When do applicants find out if they have advanced to the interview round?
What is the difference between a nominator and a reference?
Where will the meetings take place? What if a Fellow lives far away?
How many seminars will Fellows be expected to attend?
How long are the seminars?
What if an applicant is not selected to be a Fellow?
What is the Aspen Institute?
What is the Aspen Young Leaders Fellowship St. Louis? The Aspen Young Leaders Fellowship St. Louis is a fifteen month Fellowship that provides an amazing opportunity for 16-20 year olds to learn new leadership skills, discuss contemporary issues, explore critical community matters, and take action to solve challenges in the St. Louis area. A total of 24 Fellows in each class will represent a wide range of backgrounds and experiences. Together, Fellows will explore thoughts and ideas alongside other Fellows from across the area and will learn from local leaders in the arts, business, entertainment, sports, public, and non-profit sectors. This is not your average classroom discussion: rather, the Fellowship seeks to translate leadership potential into reality through a program that includes intensive values-focused dialogues, community-focused social ventures and engagement with current community leaders and mentors.
What global opportunities does being an Aspen Young Leaders Fellow provide me with? The Fellowship will culminate with an all-expenses paid trip to our nation’s capital! During the visit, Fellows will meet with some of our nation’s leaders, explore DC’s monuments and historic sites, and share their experience with AYLF Fellows from other regions across the United States. In addition, Fellows become part of the Aspen Institute family and eligible for other convenings such as the Aspen Action Forum and considered for other opportunities in the Youth & Engagement Programs, at the Aspen Ideas Festival and other programs.
What kind of people are eligible to join the Aspen Young Leaders Fellowship in St. Louis? See a list of desired candidate criteria here. We will be selecting up to 24 Fellows for the first cohort.
What is the age and residency requirement of applicants? Applicants must be between the ages of 16 -20 years old at the start date of the first convening – Friday, January 20, 2017. Potential Fellows must reside in City of St. Louis City, St. Louis County, City of East St. Louis, or St. Charles County
What are the education requirements? No education level or status is required to apply or participate in the program. Fellows will be selected based on potential – not necessarily the best grades or even school attendance but signs of strong leadership qualities, behaviors and traits. We encourage those who are either currently in school (high school, college, community college, online, technical program, etc.), currently working full or part time, or exhibiting leadership qualities in their community through other paths to apply.
What is the cost of the program? All participants will receive full scholarships to participate! There is no financial burden associated with being a Fellow. Participants should be willing to invest their time in the pre-work assignments, seminars, and community venture projects that will develop their leadership skills and the St. Louis community.
Is there a stipend for participating in the Fellowship? The Fellowship will cover reasonable transportation expenses (lodging and travel) and meals during seminars. For cohorts beginning in 2018, Fellows will participate in an 8-week social venture project internship program. Fellows will be paid during this program.
What if I have a job? Will the Aspen Institute reimburse participants for missed time during the seminars? Yes. Employees who are selected to be Fellows will receive a stipend once they submit the required documentation from their employer.
What is the deadline for application submission? Applications are due no later than midnight on Sunday, October 9, 2016. To be considered for priority application review, applications must be submitted by midnight on Friday, September 30, 2016. Priority application review ensures a closer look at the application and preference priority during the interview scheduling process.
Are all applicants guaranteed an interview? No. Due to the high volume of applicants to the Aspen Young Leaders Fellowship in St. Louis, we are not able to offer in person interviews to all applicants.
What is the difference between a nominator and a reference? A nominator has reviewed the application for the Aspen Young Leaders Fellowship, believes they know a candidate with the leadership potential to participate, and sends the application to the candidate to complete and submit. A nominator can strengthen an application submission, but is not required to apply to the Fellowship. There is an optional section on the online application to list the name and contact information of your nominator, if you have one.
A reference is someone the candidate is comfortable with the Aspen Institute’s Youth & Engagement team contacting to endorse the candidate’s personal or professional abilities, leadership qualities, character, and interests. If a candidate is selected to advance to the in-person interview round, they will be expected to supply three references to the program when they attend their interview. References will not be contacted until after in person interviews.
Where will the meetings take place? What if a Fellow lives far away? Meetings will take place in the St. Louis region. The Aspen Institute will reimburse Fellows for any reasonable costs incurred due to travel. Meetings between Fellows or with mentors in-between formal cohort sessions may take place elsewhere in St. Louis County. Transportation questions should not be a reason to stop applying.
How many seminars will Fellows be expected to attend? Fellows will attend 9 seminars over the course of fifteen months. They will also be expected to meet with their social venture teams and mentors between formal sessions.
How long are the seminars? Seminars will be either two days and one night or three days and two nights. Fellows should expect to stay overnight in supervised Aspen Institute-provided lodging during seminars. Parental consent must be granted for minors to participate in overnight sessions.
What if an applicant is not selected to be a Fellow? Fellows can apply up to three times for a future cohort, as long as they continue to meet the age requirements. We also recommend that when reapplying, applicants update their application with relevant information regarding community engagement and leadership experiences.
What is the Aspen Institute? The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. The Institute has campuses in Aspen, Colorado, and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. It also maintains offices in New York City and has an international network of partners. For more information, visit www.aspeninstitute.org.