Gephardt News Goldman Fellows Student News

Cultivating the next generation of civic leaders

More students than ever have committed their time, their energy, and their minds to civic change by joining the Gephardt Institute’s civic leadership programs.  

The new cohorts of Civic Scholars and St. Louis Fellowship programs were selected after a rigorous recruitment and selection cycle, which included an application process that urged students to meaningfully consider their passions around civic and community impact, recommendations from WashU faculty and staff, and interviews with panels of Gephardt staff and campus and community partners. 

“We are thrilled to welcome a total 51 St. Louis Fellows and Civic Scholars this year—an increase from 40 last year—to engage deeply in experiential learning, civic dialogue, and civic leadership development that results in positive community impact,” said Stephanie Kurtzman, Executive Director of the Gephardt Institute. 

The Civic Scholars Program is a rigorous, two-year, in-depth curriculum for undergraduate students with a passion for civic leadership. Sophomores are selected through a competitive process and learn together through their junior and senior years. The program includes intensive coursework, leadership training, and mentorship to prepare Civic Scholars for a life dedicated to civic and community engagement, and an academic award of $6,000 to support their “Civic Summer”—a substantial civic project or internship during the summer after their junior year. 

The St. Louis Fellowship Program spans six months and invites undergraduate students in their first three years of study to apply. Fellows start with three spring trainings and an overnight retreat in preparation for full-time summer work at a nonprofit or civic initiative.  They also immerse in the St. Louis community through community events, and an experiential curriculum to understand St. Louis’ history, culture, politics, challenges, and opportunities. Each St. Louis Fellow receives civic leadership development, structured supervision and mentoring, and a $6,000 stipend in lieu of summer earnings. An additional $250 St. Louis Transportation and Engagement Stipend facilitates deeper participation in the region throughout their St. Louis Summer. 

The programs—and stipends that support students’ ability to do this work—are made possible by numerous Gephardt Institute donors.  

“I’m grateful to our many generous donors who have invested in our future civic leaders to support their stipends and make these transformative opportunities possible,” Kurtzman said. 

Their gifts, she explained, helped not only increase the stipend rate—up from $5,000 in recent years—but also expanded the number of spots available in 2023. This meets a growing desire among WashU students to get involved in their communities and contribute to civic change, and underscores Washington University’s commitment to be in St. Louis, for St. Louis, and with St. Louis. The outcome—wherever students land after commencement—is a new cohort of graduates with the civic knowledge, skills, and lifelong commitment to the betterment of our nation and our world. 

 “Our staff and selection committees reviewed a large number of compelling applications, and it’s a reminder that we can and should continue to expand our capacity to meet students’ high-level interest,” said Kurtzman. “It is remarkable to see so many WashU students seeking opportunities to grow as civic leaders and contribute positively to St. Louis and communities across the nation.” 

Class of 2025 Civic Scholars

Hieran AndeberhanMichelle He
Disha ChatterjeeAmelia Letson
Chelcie CrutchNicole Lukens
Maame DarkwahJahselyn Medina
Patricia DiazTaylor Robinson
Lojain ElkhidirJayda Smith
Kyran EnglishTorrey Taylor
Alethea FranklinWilliam Yoo
Hanin GhanamJade Zhang

2023 St. Louis Fellows

Joshua AsanteCeline Mazloum
Julia BernatMishka Narasimhan
Samantha CampisiAriel Nochez
Maame DarkwahLeena Rai
Nitzia Davalos ReyesJesse Sanchez
Demarion DelaneyIzzy Silver
Madi FangApril Springer
Grace MarcusGillian Strauss
Harrison Goodman CohnMaya Torres Colom
Hannah JonVy Nguyen
Grace KahlerSai Vuda
Subratha AraselvanDajuantay Wynter
Claire KuEileen Yang
Amelia LetsonAditya Yelamali
Sophie LinYoana Zamora Miranda
Jade Zhang