What are the placement projects?
Some Coro Pittsburgh Fellows get multi-cycle placements (stay at the same placement site for 2 or 3 of our 8-week placement cycles) and others change after each cycle. We value multi-cycle placements because of the long-term relationships that Fellows (and Coro as a whole) can build with partners. This allows for deeper problem-solving and sustainable solutions. We take into consideration the preference of candidates and fellows, but are careful to say that we won’t guarantee that any individual will or will not have a multi-cycle placement.
What about tuition?
We raise funds so that tuition is covered (no tuition) for every Fellow; also every Fellow receives a monthly stipend of $1300, which in Pittsburgh requires a tight budget but is possible to live on.
Looking through the “Fellows in Action” part of the website, I noticed that some Fellows came into the program with goals already in mind. Is this the case for most? Do applicants go in with projects that they want to do, or do they figure them out sometime down the line?
The Fellowship values self-directed learning. What you put in shapes so much of what you get out. So, having learning goals in mind helps you get the most of the experience. At the same time, we really value people who are open to learning, to hearing new perspectives, to growing from many experiences–even ones that they might not choose. So, we would encourage you to articulate (to yourself first) what you most want to gain from the Coro Fellowship and then (if you become a Coro Fellow) remain open to learning from a wide variety of experiences (some of which we would place you in and some of which you would choose or create).
Would you mind telling me about the distinctive features of the Coro Fellowship in Pittsburgh?
You’ve probably already done so, but do check out the Coro Pittsburgh website. Here are a few things you should be aware of:
- Whereas all Fellows at other centers do short (4-6 weeks) rotational placements (change placement during every 4-6 week cycle), in Pittsburgh our placements are 8 weeks long and a number of Fellows have multi-cycle placements (so they remain at the same placement for 2 or 3 cycles). In Pittsburgh, we have 4 placement cycles total; we decide and secure the first three; Fellows decide and secure the last one. We switched to longer cycles and multi-cycle placements (about half or more have multi-cycle placements) because of feedback from partners and because of our community strategy.
- Thanks to an aggressive fundraising effort, Pittsburgh has no tuition for the Fellowship. In addition, we offer a $1300/month stipend for every Fellow, which in Pittsburgh is possible to live off (though you need to have a tight budget).
It’s important to us that people know the distinctive features in Pittsburgh because we want folks to make the right choice for themselves. Having said that, we firmly believe that the core of the Fellowship is similar across centers and that you can have a profound experience at any center.
What are the major developments occurring in Pittsburgh that Coro fellows could be a part of?
It varies. Here are a few recent examples. This year and last, Fellows have worked at a local community college on a multi-year effort to increase gender equality in college trades programs. Over three years, Fellows worked to design, launch, and grow a coalition of youth providers in a low-income community just outside the city. Fellows are working together on a storytelling project with residents of the Homewood neighborhood of Pittsburgh in conjunction with a community partner, the Pittsburgh Association of Young Children. Over three years, fellows worked with a large local foundation and different businesses to launch an initiative that connected independent artisans with local developers.