In its ongoing effort to strengthen the St. Louis region, Washington University has launched the Urban Fellows Program, a one-year fellowship that puts recent graduates to work in local government.
The St. Louis Urban Fellows Program is a signature initiative of the Gephardt Institute for Civic and Community Engagement that enables recent college graduates to contribute to civic efforts in the region while honing their understanding of urban issues and professional skills. The Fellowship experience is a unique opportunity to learn about local government while contributing to civic efforts in the St. Louis region. A growing number of Washington University students have passion, energy and skills to contribute to local government in new and innovative ways, and a desire to stay in St. Louis after graduation.
The fellows are currently assigned to assist Patrick Brown, chief resilience officer for the City of St. Louis, in developing a resiliency strategy. St. Louis has been chosen to participate in the 100 Resilient Cities Challenge, an initiative funded by the Rockefeller Foundation to help cities better respond to economic downturns, natural disasters, and other setbacks.
“Everyday is different in city government and our fellows will have experiences and opportunities in a number of areas,” said Brown. “We want to hear their ideas and perspectives. If we, as a city, are to grow and find solutions, we need smart, young people at the table.”
The Urban Fellows is a partnership of Washington University, the City of St. Louis and Arch Grants. The program received seed funding from the Equifax Foundation, which is committed to improving education, infrastructure and the arts in the St. Louis Region. Thomas Irwin, executive director of Civic Progress, is serving as both mentor and trainer to the fellows.