The ReachOut fellowships, presently in the amount of $35,000 each, enable Princeton seniors to devote their first post-graduation year to undertaking a special public service project. Because the program was suspended in 2021-2022, members of the class of 2021 will be eligible to apply along with members of the class of 2022. Two fellowships are offered each year, generally one for a domestic project and one for an international project. 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.
The ReachOut 56-81-06 Domestic Fellowship
Candidates for ReachOut 56-81-06 Domestic Fellowships, 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 organizations that do not otherwise have the financial wherewithal to hire a Princeton graduate. The merits of the project and the sponsoring organization will be considered in the granting of fellowships.
Criteria for Selection:
The principal (although not exclusive) criteria for selection are:
The 1956 ReachOut International Fellowship
- the applicant’s demonstrated commitment to volunteerism and public interest
- the significance and lasting impact of the proposed project
- the mission and effectiveness of the sponsoring organization
- academic performance and other personal qualifications
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 $35,000 annual award. Like the ReachOut 56-81-06 Domestic Fellowship, it is open to Princeton seniors who commit to spend their first post-graduation year performing a public interest project. It differs, however, from the traditional Fellowship in the following respects:
Criteria for Selection:
- The 1956 ReachOut International Fellowship can be performed 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 1956 ReachOut International Fellowship gives special consideration to innovative and entrepreneurial projects (see below under “Criteria for Selection”).
- With the 1956 ReachOut International Fellowship, there is a potential for extension of the project beyond one year, if the project’s significance and viability is found to justify longer-range support.
In addition to the criteria listed under the ReachOut 56-81-06 Domestic Fellowship (except that a sponsoring organization is not required), the 1956 ReachOut International Fellowship gives special weight to projects of social significance that are innovative, creative and/or entrepreneurial. Also considered, where applicable, is the potential sustainability of the project beyond the life of the Fellowship, whether by extension of the Fellowship or otherwise.
ReachOut 56-81-06 will provide each fellow during his or her term with one or more supportive mentors 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 ReachOut 56-81-06, as well as to meet with the ReachOut 56-81-06 Board of Directors to discuss the experience. There will be an Advisory Council, consisting of past fellows, to help with the selection of future candidates and projects and to otherwise improve the program.
In a case where the sponsoring organization for a fellow chosen the previous year makes a special request to extend the project beyond the original term, such a request will be considered along with the other new applications for the year in question.
The board of ReachOut 56-81-06 is hopeful that the fellowship experience will help motivate those chosen to pursue a lifetime of public interest activities.