The 2023 St. Louis Fellows shared their experiences and learning from their summer internships with local nonprofit and government organizations. It was part of Civic Action Week held this month.
Community partners, family, friends, supporters, and the WashU community were invited to the first St. Louis Fellows Showcase, held on Wednesday, Oct. 18 at Stix House. There, the Fellows detailed their experiences via posters and presentations before a packed Stix House Living Room.
For Gephardt Institute Executive Director Stephanie Kurtzman, the night was not only the culmination of multiple years of expanding the St. Louis Fellows Program and building it into a trusted resource for hand-in-hand community partnerships—but also a chance to celebrate 32 new ambassadors for the city.
“We really want our students to learn deeply, to engage deeply in order to grow as civic leaders and to grow in their affinity for St. Louis,” she said. “And we also want to make sure that our community partners are getting support moving forward mission critical work with their organizations.”
Before the Showcase, the St. Louis Fellows each created a poster describing their individual summer experiences that were displayed in Stix House during the Showcase. Then, the Fellows presented more about what they learned in groups of four to six, organized by themes common to their experiences—like “Creating Agency within Systemic Boundaries” and “Education as a Tool for Social Change.”
Madi Fang ’24 spent her summer working with Speak Up St. Louis and the Contemporary Art Museum, and reveled in the opportunity to meet people with different perspectives and walks of life on their ideas about St. Louis.
“It was very formative to my summer building those relationships, and just really getting to see the archive that we were creating for the city,” said Fang.
For Da’jauntay Wynter ’26, the experience of working with other St. Louis Fellows—who worked in very different internships over the summer—to craft a presentation was a lesson in how community engagement is intertwined.
“Despite us having very different internships and very different missions, we all saw the power of people and the power of relationships,” he said.
“We’re very, very proud and appreciative of our students, and this is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate them,” Kurtzman said. “I hope that our students feel celebrated and recognized for all they have learned, all they have done, and all we know that they will do in the future.”
Click here to watch a recording of the St. Louis Fellows Showcase.
The St. Louis Fellows Program is offered annually to select WashU undergraduates and is made possible by generous donations to the Gephardt Institute. Learn more here. If you are interested in applying or nominating a student for the program, applications will be available online starting in early November. If you would like to make a gift to support the St. Louis Fellows Program, please contact Colleen Watermon at email@example.com.