Segal Fellowship info session coming Thursday

Eli J. Segal Citizen Leadership Program fellows encouraging applicants

Jon Ostrowsky ’13

The first snowflakes may have drifted onto campus last week, but it's starting to be time to think about the summer of 2012.

Now in its fourth programmatic year at Brandeis, the Eli J. Segal Citizen Leadership Program has offered internships with organizations such as Massachusetts Health Policy Forum, the National Partnership for Women & Families in Washington, D.C., and the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming.

An information session will be held on Thursday, Nov. 3, from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Heller School, room G-2.

Fellowships are open to undergraduates who will be juniors and seniors next fall, and those who will be second-year students in the Heller School’s Master of Public Policy program. Six to nine students are accepted each year, with undergraduates receiving a living stipend of $3,500 and graduate students receiving $5,000.

As a 2011 Segal Fellow, Amber Kornreich '12 interned with the Human Rights Campaign as the organization advocated for (and won) passage of same-sex marriage legislation in New York. Jon Ostrowsky ’13 interned at the Department of Commerce in Washington, D.C., working as a speechwriter and research assistant for assistant secretary Michael Camuñez during a summer when free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea, recently signed by President Barack Obama, were being prepared. Jessie Zimmerer, a Heller School Master of Public Policy candidate and former city councilor from Oregon, interned at the National Women's Law Center to address violence against women, homelessness and poverty among women and children.

Zimmerer says that the summer was an invaluable experience, not only because she got a crash course in health care and reproductive rights policy, but because she was able to see real policy analysts in action and learn from well respected role models.

Ostrowsky says he learned firsthand how government can use trade policy both to stimulate economic growth and advance America's strategic and diplomatic agenda abroad.

“I strengthened my writing skills learning how to write in a new voice and style and received invaluable feedback from a group of brilliant people,” says Ostrowsky. "Most importantly, I saw government in action and how Washington can take an idea and convert it into real, tangible change in people's lives."

The fellowship is named for Eli J. Segal ’64, an entrepreneur who helped run Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign, joined Clinton's White House staff and was, according to President Clinton, “The father of AmeriCorps,” a national service organization that has sent over a half million volunteers to help out in communities across the United States. Segal was also a founder of the Welfare-to-Work partnership, which is credited with transforming millions of lives.

When Segal died, his family and friends wanted his work to carry on. They formed a group of 400 founders to finance an endowment that supports the Segal Fellowships. These founders not only provided the financing to endow the program but continue to act as mentors to Segal Fellows.

The Segal Foundation's 2007 inaugural address was delivered on campus by President Clinton, who said he will always be one of Segal’s biggest fans.

Segal Fellows are selected each year through AmeriCorps Alums, Brandeis University, CityYear, the Center for Youth and Communities and the Corporation for National and Community Service.

Ostrowsky says that the program is about much more than academic or career achievement, it’s about educating young leaders who aspire to make a difference in our communities and using service to transform the lives of others. 

“We are a group of friends constantly learning from and supporting one another,” says Ostrowsky. “At its core, the Segal program is about friendship, leadership and kindness and how to build our lives together and empower our community with those values."

Phyllis Segal, Eli’s wife, says that much of her late husband’s life was dedicated to nurturing and helping future generations of citizen leaders.

“This is much more than a summer internship,” says Phillis Segal. “Fellows have the quality, interest and potential for being valuable members of this community of citizen leaders. I don’t think that there’s anything more important than strengthening our democracy going forward.”

For more information contact Toni Schwarzenbach, director of the Eli J. Segal Citizen Leadership Program and the Segal Management Fellow at the Center for Youth and Communities.

Categories: Humanities and Social Sciences, Student Life

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