Ready to Change the World? The FAO SCHWARZ FELLOWSHIP IN SOCIAL IMPACT A Transformative Two-Year Experience at Leading Nonprofit Organizations

It Will Challenge and Empower You

with the Skills You Need to


Lead the Change.

The FAO Schwarz Fellowship

The FAO Schwarz Fellowship

Lead the change
The FAO Schwarz Fellowship is an intensive, transformative two-year experience in the world of social impact designed to develop your knowledge and leadership abilities.

Leaders matter more than ever.

The COVID-19 pandemic challenges all organizations to adapt and evolve in order to protect the people in their communities. The pandemic has also highlighted persistent inequalities in our society. Now, more than ever, social impact leadership matters. The Foundation and our host partners will continue to support the work and professional development of the FAO Schwarz Fellows.


Applications for the 2021-2023 cohort will open November 1. 


Launch Your Social Impact Career

FAO Schwarz Fellows are recent college graduates working at leading nonprofit organizations.The Fellowships include direct service, strategic projects and professional development. They’re designed to jumpstart your career as a leader of change.


Be Part of a Passionate Cohort

As an FAO Schwarz Fellow, you’ll join a cohort of talented leaders that includes a growing alumni network. Retreats and other events give you a chance to get to know other Fellows and explore a broad range of social issues.


Grow Your Leadership Skills

The Fellowship develops your leadership skills, deepens your knowledge and includes opportunities for networking with social impact leaders. You’ll be challenged to explore difficult problems and reflect on their causes. Mentors offer guidance and help you plan your next steps.

What Fellows Are Saying

“The FAO Schwarz Foundation Fellowship helped launch my career. I worked with schools across Philadelphia to learn the concerns of families and school administration. In my current role I draw upon those experiences every day to make a greater impact.”

Gregory Wright, FAO Schwarz Fellow 2013
Community School Coordinator
Mayor’s Office of Education
Philadelphia, PA

“I’m grateful for the professional development I received.  So many aspects of the program set me up for success. The fellowship was the jumpstart to my career. It helped me find my way to Social Work (which I’m pretty sure is where I am supposed to be!)”

Maley Mullin
Graduate School of Social Work
University of Chicago
Chicago, IL

“The Fellowship has had a huge impact on my personal and professional development. I’ve gained skills, mentors and an incredible group of friends in my cohort, and those above and below me. I hope to give back a fraction of what it has and continues to give to me.”

Jen Benson
Outreach Coordinator
Ossinging, NY

“The time I spent as a Fellow taught me so much about the amazing organizations that are out there and the ways different ways that organizations are run. It changed the way I think about the nonprofit sector and has led me to pursue a career in nonprofit capacity building.”

Dawn Lavallee
MBA Candidate at Questrom School of Business, Boston University, MBA (Public and Nonprofit)

Invested in Your Future

Real social change requires leadership. We need people willing to ask difficult questions and look beyond the obvious. We need new solutions to the stubborn problems that create injustice and inequality. We need ambitious thinkers and doers seeking to make an impact.

As an FAO Schwarz Fellow, you’ll learn to lead by engaging in both direct service and strategic projects. From your first day as a Fellow, you’ll work side-by-side with experts at your host organization to shape and lead a project that will strengthen the organization and develop your managerial skills.

The Fellowship includes professional development along with individualized mentoring. You’ll grow as a Fellow—both individually and alongside the other Fellows in your cohort. Our goal is to jumpstart your career as a successful and effective social impact leader.









About the Fellowship


Each Fellowship offers a combination of direct service and strategic projects that deepen the Fellow’s knowledge of social challenges and build their skills and expertise.


The Fellowships are paid two-year positions with benefits at leading nonprofit host organizations in Boston, New York and Philadelphia.


The Fellowship focuses on professional development and leadership skills through regular retreats, mentoring and special community experiences.


Fellows become part of a cohort of future leaders and connect to an extensive network of alumni Fellows and other social innovation leaders.

Tomorrow’s Social Impact Leaders

Meet The Fellows

FAO Schwarz Fellows are problem-solvers drawn to critical social challenges. Social innovators seeking to put bold community solutions into action. And future world-changers who cannot wait to get started.
Annie Want, 2020
I’ve always known that young people are capable of creating movements. My work allows me to identify, equip, support, and celebrate youth leaders in Philadelphia schools as they strive to lead safer and healthier lives—and I am grateful to learn from them.
Joseph Rosales, 2016
My academic interests led me to seek a career that would combine my passions for cultural identity and serving others. Through the FAO Schwarz  Fellowship, I have developed a deep passion for educational equity and have grown in a field that I now hold dear.
Kayla Jones, 2019
“Being raised around educators inspired my passion for working in the field of education. This Fellowship allows me to both serve in communities that need equitable educational opportunities and slowly deconstruct the policies that created these disparities in the first place.”
Nicholas Mitch, 2020
Thriving ecosystems and thriving communities go hand-in-hand. You can’t have one without the other. I wanted the chance to live out this understanding, supporting both urban and rural communities as they connect with and protect the Hudson River watershed.
Deshaun Parris, 2015
The Fellowship has allowed me to combine two of my passions—community outreach and  health education. I have been given a unique experience to have a direct impact on youth and their perception of healthy living.
Pamela Martinez, 2019
I had experience at Playworks, first as a volunteer then as a direct service AmeriCorps recess coach, but the fellowship has allowed me to expand my knowledge and grow professionally.
Samantha Perlman, 2019
My senior year, I worked for an organization that aimed to close the achievement gap for low-income students. That program was amazing, I deeply admired their work and wanted to continue working on this issue.
Jaiwantie Manni, 2019
I developed a new interactive display to help students learn about the challenges New Yorkers are facing in terms of the environment, housing, and transportation. My hope is that the inclusion of tactile objects, like concrete and materials from green roofs will help them understand the inner workings of the city.
Molly Blake, 2019
Recess was always one of my favorite parts of the day when I was growing up. Now I’m interested in creating healthy communities where recess welcomes all students and supports their social-emotional and physical development.
Joyce Kim, 2020
“The financial aid process can be extremely complex and confusing, but I believe it shouldn’t deter students from pursuing post-secondary educational opportunities. I want to support students through these barriers and strive for systems-wide changes for greater equity in education.”
Khari Graves, 2017
For as long as I can remember I wanted to help others through food. As graduation got closer, I began to think seriously about how to transform my personal passion into a career fighting for food access, nutritional equity, and empowering communities.
Erika Apupalo, 2020
Reading Partners combines my love for reading and my interest in giving back to my community. I am excited to work with students to build their literacy skills and potentials.
Lauren Hurley, 2020
“I taught at Breakthrough during college, and was invigorated by students’ motivation to learn. As middle-schoolers, these students were already working toward their goal of attending college. I am so excited to support them and provide resources to help them be successful.”
Greg Wright, 2017
The FAO Schwarz Foundation Fellowship helped launch my career. Through my fellowship I had the opportunity to work with schools across Philadelphia to learn the concerns of families and school administration.
Julia Filman, 2017
I became interested in working with nonprofits after participating in a service learning program in college. It opened my eyes to the kind of work that I really felt passionate about and led me to pursue exploring nonprofit opportunities.
Allie Negron, 2018
A college education should be attainable. Many students may not have a parent, legal guardian, older sibling, or friend to serve as their guide towards reaching postsecondary education. I want to help students with dreams of going to college reach their goals.
Current Fellowship Host Organizations
FAO Schwarz Fellows work at high-impact nonprofit organizations that are known for their results and the quality of their programs.

Becoming A Social Impact Leader