General Q & A

Q. What do Fellows do?

Working in partnership with non-profits, city agencies, and schools, Fellows take action to improve the lives of young people by:

  • Serving as mentors in young people’s lives
  • Providing children with safe spaces and structured activities during out of school time
  • Leading academic enrichment activities
  • Facilitating college and career exploration programs
  • Coming together in community for meetings and connection
Q. What are some of the criteria for a Fellow project?

Fellow projects:

  • Are out-of-school time projects working with youth in grades 6-12
  • Are new projects or an expansion of an existing project
  • Have a large-scale impact
  • Are Fellow-led or are a Fellow-led portion of a larger project
Q. What kind of background do Fellows have?

Fellows are recruited from across the country and come from diverse backgrounds. The average age of a Fellow is 21-25, however we do not have an age cap. All Fellows exhibit:

  • A passion for serving and supporting young people
  • Proven leadership skills and the desire to learn and grow in this area
  • Excellent communication skills
  • A commitment to social justice and education equity
  • Demonstrated task management and organizational experience
Q. What organizations do Fellows serve with?

Fellows have served in over fifty communities across Massachusetts—from Boston to Falmouth and from Lynn to Marlborough. Fellows have served with organizations both large and small, including non-profits, schools, and city agencies. See our host sites on our Service Position Openings page!

Q. What do Fellows receive for their service?

For an 11 month commitment and 1,700 hours of service Fellows receive:

  • Taxable annual living allowance up to $27,000
  • Segal Education Award of up to $7,395
  • FREE CLASSES at Northeastern University’s College of Professional Studies and discounted courses upon program completion
  • Excellent training opportunities
  • Transportation allowance to Fellow meetings
  • Loan forbearance
  • Health benefits
  • Access to a Member Assistance Program

See our full list of Benefits and Resources on our Fellow Benefits page.

Q. I am interested in becoming a Fellow, how do I apply?
  • See our Be a Fellow page for more information.
  • Complete the online application. Be prepared to provide contact information for your references, and upload your resume and cover letter (or audio and work experience in lieu of resume and cover letter).
  • Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. All applications received from this point will be contacted within two weeks of submitting their application.

If you need to request an accommodation or require technical assistance with the application, please contact Mona Miao at m.miao@northeastern.edu.

Q. What happens after I accept an offer from MPF?

Fellow Onboarding

Once you’ve accepted the offer to join the Massachusetts Promise Fellowship, your on-boarding begins. You will be asked to complete onboarding documentation, background check, and schedule a fingerprint appointment before service begins.

MPF does cover the financial cost of these tests but if your meeting is missed, you will be responsible for the rescheduled cost.

You will also be added to an online platform (Basecamp) where you can connect with MPF staff and Fellows to start planning for your service year. Many Fellows also begin looking for housing during the summer.

Summer Welcome Session

By this time, you should have completed required logistical items such as your background check and fingerprints.

Welcome sessions give you an inside look at your benefits, stipend, institutional knowledge, support structures and necessary information to be successful for your year of service. They also give you an opportunity to meet with new and returning Fellows before your service year begins.

Q. What are some examples of past Fellow projects?
  • Expanded tutoring and academic enrichment programs focused on STEM education to schools throughout the Greater Boston area, reaching more youth and creating a foundation for better MCAS scores in math and science
  • Designed and led college and career exploration program, including workshops, college tours, and mentoring, for youth at an afterschool program.
Q. What type of training do Fellows receive?

Fellow Orientation Week

Fellow Orientation is an intensive week-long immersion that will provide you with the foundations, skills, and mindsets needed to be an effective youth worker. This week occurs during the first week of service in mid-August, before you start service at your host site placement. At this time, you will be joined by the entire Fellow cohort to engage in approximately 40 hours of learning and building connections with other Mass Promise Fellows.

By the end of Orientation you will be ready to begin your first day at your host site placement. 

Monthly Professional Development 

Your day-to-day life as a Mass Promise Fellow corps member will take place at your host site placement where you will interact with students and host site staff. In addition, the MPF leadership team will continue to supplement your learning and development by offering monthly professional development sessions for the entire Fellow cohort from September to June. Training topics will include: positive youth development, adultism, curriculum building, classism, racism, and more. Meetings are led by MPF leadership staff, alumni, and external hosts across our network.   

These sessions enhance community development, grow Fellow practices that can be infused into day-to-day work, and build professional competencies.

Fall and Spring Fellow Retreats

Twice during the year Fellows and MPF staff will participate in 2-3 day (overnight) retreats to build community within the cohort, create space for Fellows to relax and recharge, as well as provide additional training relevant to Fellow service or life after AmeriCorps.

Specific Training Opportunities Include:

  • Leadership and team building
  • Social justice training (race, class, LGBTQ+, ableism trainings)
  • Youth development
  • Project planning and implementation
  • Volunteer recruitment
  • Asset-based community development
  • Career coaching
  • Non-profit management
Q. Who are the program’s partners?

Fellows are part of the national service network of over 100,000,000 AmeriCorps members and alumni. AmeriCorps engages Americans of all ages in intensive, results-driven service each year.

The Fellowship shares its vision with America’s Promise. The Massachusetts Service Alliance, Northeastern University, and the College of Professional Studies are also the program’s partners.

Q. What classes can Fellows take at Northeastern?

Fellows are eligible to take free courses at Northeastern University’s College of Professional Studies during their year of service. Fellows can choose from undergraduate, graduate, and continuing education courses. Courses are offered in the evenings and Fellows also have the opportunity to enroll in online courses.

Fellows interested in taking courses at the College of Professional Studies are required to apply for admission and submit the required application materials.

Q. How do Fellows live on $27,000 per year?

Over 600 Fellows have completed the program and were able to live on the $27,000 (or less) annual stipend. The full compensation amount (stipend + insurance + classes at Northeastern + other benefits) that MPF provides to Fellows is closer to $40,000+. Many Fellows have part-time jobs, live with roommates and find other ways to make additional income.

In addition, the Fellowship helps out by:

  • Providing full coverage of your health insurance premium
  • Providing Fellows with support to access additional government benefits (i.e. SNAP, healthcare, discounted MBTA passes, fuel assistance)
  • Providing workshops on budgeting
  • Providing an emergency fund

Since Fellows receive a stipend and not a wage, they qualify for public assistance. Many Fellows take advantage of this benefit each year and receive SNAP (food stamps) and/or fuel assistance. It is important that all Fellows understand that they are committing to a year of service for the experience, not the paycheck.

Host Site Q & A

Q. What can we expect to achieve by hosting a Fellow?

Hosting a Fellow enables an organization to:

  • Expand services to their community by creating a new youth-focused project
  • Improve the quality and effectiveness of its current youth programming
  • Partner with a network of youth-serving organizations and agencies
  • Benefit from optional trainings and other professional development opportunities
Q. Is our organization eligible to host a Fellow?

To be eligible your organization must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a non-profit organization—with tax exempt (501(c)3) status—school or government agency
  • In operation for at least one year with one full-time staff member and the capacity to host a Fellow
Q. What is the timeline for applying to host a Fellow?

For the complete timeline, please visit the How to Host section. In general, host sites will be selected and notified in early spring every 2 years and Fellows will begin service in August.

Q. What are some criteria for a Fellow project?

Fellow projects must:

  • Be youth-focused
  • Meet a defined need and benefit young people in grades 6-12
  • Allow the Fellow to work with a consistent group of youth throughout the academic year for at least 5 hours/week
  • Focus on one of our two focus areas (Academic Enrichment, College & Career Exploration)
  • Be a new project or an expansion of an existing project
  • Have large-scale impact
  • Be Fellow-led or be a Fellow-led part of a larger project (Fellows can also be involved with one or more project)
Q. Are there any prohibited activities?

Fellows and Fellow projects cannot:

  • Displace a current employee or serve in a regular staff position
  • Be involved with political advocacy, religious instruction, voter registration, fundraising for host site match/operating expenses, writing federal grants, union organizing or clerical activities
  • Fellows can, however, perform limited administrative duties necessary for their project
  • Sign off on a grant
  • Serve as an assistant
  • Supervise other AmeriCorps members
Q. How are host-sites selected?

Proposals to host Fellows are reviewed by a community review committee and the Fellowship advisory board that recommend host-site organizations. Final decisions are made by the program staff. Key elements of a successful host-site include:

  • Organizational capacity to develop and manage the project
  • Clearly defined need
  • Realistic goals and objectives with measurable outcomes
  • Alignment with the Fellowship mission
  • Support and training for the Fellow
  • Strong element of project ownership
  • Clear project vision
Q. What kind of background and training do Fellows have?

Fellows are AmeriCorps members who have committed to a year of service and average between 20-25 years of age. They are leaders from across the country with diverse backgrounds and a passion for community service. Most Fellows are recent college graduates and looking for a hands-on service experience.

Fellows receive an initial orientation and training from the program, as well as ongoing leadership training and professional development opportunities throughout the year. The host-site is responsible for site-specific training and orientation.

Q. Who is responsible for recruiting and hiring the Fellow?

We ask prospective host-sites to help with the recruiting and hiring process. Hiring is site-specific; sites have a better understanding of the skill set that will allow their particular project to be successful. Therefore, we allow the site to initiate the recruitment and screening process.

The Massachusetts Promise Fellowship is familiar with what it takes to become a respected leader in the service community. We will help advertise the positions, assist in the interviewing process and handle the official hiring of the Fellow with your organization’s approval.

Q. Can we apply for more than one Fellow?

Yes! Several organizations have had Fellows serving in teams, leading and coordinating a number of
projects together.

Q. What does the Massachusetts Promise Fellowship provide?

The Massachusetts Promise Fellowship program is committed to the success of each Fellow and their host-site. As our contribution to the partnership with the host-site we provide:

  • A full-time Fellow (~40 hours per week) committed to eleven months (selected in partnership between the program and host-site)
  • In-service leadership and project management training, regular retreats and monthly meetings for the Fellow, including over 170 hours of training as well as optional training opportunities
  • Access to the national service network and associated training and conferences
  • Orientation and training for the host-site and Fellow supervisor
  • Regular site visits to address host-site specific needs and evaluate project goals
  • Administration of Fellow benefits; post-service educational award ($6,345), health insurance, training opportunities, free coursework at Northeastern University’s College of Professional Studies, and a service stipend (up to $18,000 per year).
Q. What is the host-site required to provide?

Each host-site is required to provide:

  • A clear vision of the project you plan to implement and how the Fellow can be most effectively utilized
  • Supportive leadership from staff and the host-site to ensure that the Fellow is considered and treated as an integral part of the organization
  • One designated host-site supervisor who will provide weekly supervision and support to the Fellow and project and attend two mandatory meetings
  • A cash match to defray a portion of the Fellow benefit costs
  • Adequate workspace for the Fellow including desk, phone, fax, access to computer and office supplies
  • Reimbursement for travel costs incurred as part of the Fellow’s service for the host-site (other Fellowship-related travel is paid for by the program)
  • Complete a background check on your Fellow and submit a letter verifying the completed process
Q. How much is the cash match?

We ask each host-site organization to invest in the partnership by providing a non-federal cash match. The match is used to defray a portion of the total cost of the Fellowship position (training, travel, benefits and living allowance) at your host-site.

The amount of the cash match is based on the organization’s total operating budget, including salaries, funds distributed as grants and any other operating costs and ranges from $10,800 to $16,000.

Northeastern University, Office of Community Service & Civic Engagement

420 Huntington Ave, Stearns Center 2nd Floor, Boston, MA 02115

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info@masspromisefellows.org | 617 – 373 – 5312