At a Glance
The ReachOut fellowships enable Princeton seniors to devote their first post-graduation year to undertaking a special public service project. Two individual $40,000 fellowships are offered each year, generally one for a domestic project and one for an international project. In addition, a $70,000 fellowship is offered to a team of two who will work on a project together.
The ReachOut fellowships are part of a larger, intergenerational effort by members of the alumni classes of 1956, 1981, and 2006 to encourage and support civic engagement.
Candidates for ReachOut 56-81-06 Domestic Fellowship, who need not be U.S. citizens, find a suitable public interest organization that agrees in advance to make a position available, and then work with the organization to devise a significant project or function. The organization must be located in the United States, but there is no restriction on the scope or purpose of the activity chosen. Unlike the Princeton Project 55 Public Interest Program (PIP), where the host organizations provide stipends for the individuals, members of the Classes of 1956, 1981, and 2006 supply the funds for ReachOut 56-81-06 Domestic Fellowships. This enables the selection of partner organizations that do not otherwise have the financial wherewithal to hire a Princeton graduate. The merits of the project and the sponsoring organization are considered in the granting of fellowships.
The 1956 ReachOut International Fellowship is funded through the generosity of a member of the Class of 1956, whose Canadian-based family foundation has committed to supporting a generous annual award. Like the ReachOut 56-81-06 Domestic Fellowship, it is open to Princeton seniors of all nationalities who commit to spend their first post-graduation year performing a public interest project. It differs, however, from the Domestic Fellowship in the following respects:
- The 1956 ReachOut International Fellowship can be carried out anywhere in the world (including the U.S.).
- The 1956 ReachOut International Fellowship does not require affiliation with a sponsoring organization, although generally the infrastructure, local contacts, and expertise of a sponsoring organization have been valuable to past fellows.
The Paschen Pair Fellowship was funded by a bequest from Herbert C. Paschen, Jr. ’56 and was awarded for the first time in 2023. Candidates for the ReachOut Herbert C. Paschen, Jr. ’56 Fellowship must, as two-person pairs (“Paschen Pairs”), find a suitable public interest organization that agrees in advance to make a position available, and then work with the organization to devise a significant project or function. The organization can be located in either the United States or overseas. The project should be public service-oriented and should not be primarily a research project.
Adviser for Domestic Fellowships, both individual and domestic Paschen Pair projects: Mrs. Jean Telljohann '81, [email protected], 609-921-1850
Adviser for International Fellowships, both individual and international Paschen Pair projects: Ms. Tracy Pogue '81, [email protected], 646-228-2699
Criteria for Selection
The principal (although not exclusive) criteria for selection are:
- the applicant’s demonstrated commitment to volunteerism and public interest
- the significance and lasting impact of the proposed project or function
- the mission and effectiveness of the sponsoring organization
- academic performance and other personal qualifications
- for the Paschen fellowship, complementary skills and experiences and likelihood that the pair will work well together.
Anyone interested in applying for either of the fellowships is strongly encouraged to e-mail one of the advisers listed above as early as possible with a description of your potential project and any questions you may have about crafting a viable proposal. The board of ReachOut works closely with interested students to provide feedback. Any proposal drafts submitted to Mrs. Jean Telljohann '81, by January 2, 2024, will be reviewed by a second board member and returned with comments. Applications submitted without previous correspondence or discussion with a ReachOut adviser will be at a significant disadvantage. Applicants should discuss their proposed plans with their families in advance of submitting an application so that any objections may be resolved before the fellowships are awarded.
Please follow the format outlined below for submitting your application. It consists of three parts. Please mark each section clearly. Please contact one of the ReachOut alumni advisers with any questions (Mrs. Jean Telljohann '81 or Ms. Tracy Pogue '81).
I. Cover Sheet
The cover sheet should be no more than one page and should include the following sections.
- Applicant name and concentration at Princeton. Include any certificates you expect to receive at graduation.
- Title of proposed project. The title of the project should be brief and should easily allow a reader to understand the nature of your proposal.
- Affiliations. Name of organization(s), if any, that you propose to affiliate with, together with the name, title, contact information of the person or persons with whom you have spoken or corresponded, and website, if applicable.
- Abstract. A 50–100-word concise abstract of your project.
II. Proposal Narrative
Provide a detailed narrative in the range of 5–8 pages explaining your project. Please include the following sections, marked accordingly.
- Project. How did you identify the particular project you are proposing? Why is it worth doing? What are your relevant skills and experience? Please include a brief breakdown of the various phases of the project, if appropriate; that is, explain how you plan to use your time.
- Lasting Impact. Will your project have lasting, positive outcomes after you have finished your year? What do you see them as being? How will the organization continue the work you have initiated?
- Affiliations. Explain why you hope to affiliate with any organization or organizations in the course of pursuing your project. How did you identify these organizations? What can they offer your project? Detail any contacts you have had with this organization.
- Feasibility. Can your project be accomplished within the timeframe and budget allowed by the fellowship? What challenges or obstacles do you foresee interfering with your success? How do you plan to overcome these?
Provide a budget for your fellowship (housing and other living expenses, airfare or other travel expenses, and/or any direct project expenses). Please note that ReachOut neither provides health insurance nor pays for a fellow’s medical expenses. Therefore, please remember also to include amounts for both health insurance and for other medical expenses in your budget.
IV. Global Programs System (GPS) Application
Applicants must submit the following materials with the proposal to the ReachOut 56-81-06 Fellowship GPS site by the campus deadline.
- Official academic transcript(s)
- At least two letters of recommendation
- Letter of endorsement from the sponsoring application, if applicable, addressing the questions on the attached questionnaire
One letter of recommendation should be from a member of the Princeton faculty who knows the applicant well enough to assess his or her ability to complete the proposed project successfully. In cases where the applicant’s thesis topic is relevant to the project, a letter from the thesis adviser should be included. If the candidate has been actively engaged in community involvement as an undergraduate, a letter from someone who has supervised or observed the applicant’s work would be welcome.
Letters of recommendation can be submitted electronically via the GPS system.
Here is the GPS website link: Click here.
Candidates will be interviewed by a committee on Tuesday, January 30,2024 (and, if needed, interviews will also be held on Wednesday, January 31). In-person interviews are an important part of ReachOut’s selection process. Those awarded fellowships will be notified before the end of February.
ReachOut56-81-06 provides each fellow during his or her term with one or more supportive mentors from the ranks of past fellowship recipients or from the Classes of 1956, 1981, or 2006. Progress reports are expected, and upon completion of the project, fellows will be asked to submit a written report to ReachOut56-81-06, as well as to meet with the ReachOut56-81-06 Board of Directors to discuss the experience. An Advisory Council, consisting of past fellows, assists with the selection of future candidates and projects and otherwise works to improve the program.
The board of ReachOut56-81-06 is hopeful that the fellowship experience will help motivate those chosen to pursue a lifetime of public interest activities.
A description of the projects that prior ReachOut 56-81-06 fellows have undertaken is available, along with other resources, in the “Related Content” section on this page.