High Meadows Fellowships
Applications were due Friday, December 14, 2012.
Click here for the application timeline.
Visit the High Meadows Fellowship blog.
The High Meadows Fellowship program places recent Princeton graduates in two-year positions with nonprofit organizations that aim to protect the environment and build environmental sustainability, or that bring an environmental focus to building community capacity and increasing the self-sufficiency of community residents, with the awareness that true sustainability can only flourish in a just society.
Through their work with these nonprofits, fellows have an opportunity to gain valuable professional experience while exploring a career in the public interest and making a genuine contribution toward advancing the organizations’ objectives. The positions are located throughout the U.S., with four of the nation’s leading environmental organizations, Climate Central, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), The Food Project (TFP), and the High Meadows Fund. For the term 2013-2015, there are five open positions - three with EDF, one with TFP and one with the HM Fund; see list of positions below.
The High Meadows fellows have been able to build on the knowledge and skills they developed at Princeton and have found new opportunities to develop and extend their expertise. Their responsibilities have included research, report writing, developing and promoting public policy proposals, working closely with diverse groups of people, and testifying before legislative committees.
About the High Meadows Fellowship
From the founder, Carl Ferenbach '64
In the spring of 1988, Judy and I bought a small farmhouse and 90 acres of land in Townshend, Vermont. It was an old, hill top farm dating from the late 18th century. The woolen industry that needed the sheep's wool grown there had long ago departed and the forest had reclaimed the once open fields and climbed over the stone walls. We began a long process of reclaiming the fields, adding horses and more land and then roads and trails to give access to what became several hundreds of acres. There migratory water fowl stop in the beaver pond, often hatching and growing their young before moving on north or south; wild turkey grub; and deer browse; and coyotes hunt; and beaver build; and black bears raid hives in search of honey; and now and then a moose wanders through. And humans somehow coexist. Along the way we found stored in an old barn a sign. It read “High Meadows Farm”. We immediately cleaned it up and happily hung it out. Soon after, we discovered we could make maple products with sap from our own trees.
In 1999 we were introduced to Fred Krupp of the Environmental Defense Fund. And not long after received an invitation to join him and others for eight days of rafting and hiking in the Grand Canyon. We were delighted because by then we were asking questions about what impact we were having on the land in Vermont. And how was climate affecting us? And had acid rain been significantly reduced by the 1990 Clean Air Act? And what about all this habitat we seemed to be stewarding? Could EDF be a resource for us to find answers to these questions? Of course, they were.
A year or two later in my office at Berkshire Partners I was reading the backgrounds of our newly recruited associates for that year. A Berkshire Associate joined a two year program after having completed their under graduate degree and, typically, worked for a Goldman Sachs or a Bain Consulting for two years. From us they would expect to go to a top business school. Our new Associates had top of class academic records and great recommendations from their employers, who we knew well. But it was hard not to wonder why these exceptionally talented people were in our industry, let along our firm. Which lead in turn to wondering why a similar two year program couldn’t work at an Environmental Defense Fund or one of the other wonderful organizations we supported. And wouldn’t there be equally talented students or now former students from Princeton who would welcome an opportunity to start there? And so we asked EDF and Princeton. Thus was birthed the High Meadows Fellows Program. A decade or so later it and those who have worked with the organizations it supports are still the pride and signature of High Meadows Foundation.
Current Princeton seniors who are U.S. citizens, enrolled and in good standing are eligible to apply to up to 3 fellowships. To submit a High Meadows Fellowship application, you will complete and submit an online form, one resume, and one scanned copy of your unofficial transcript. A separate personal statement, no longer than 2 single-spaced pages in length, must be written for each position to which you apply. (Guiding prompts for developing the personal statement are included in the online form.) No paper or incomplete applications will be accepted.
Thanks to the generosity of the High Meadows Foundation, the Pace Center, through the partner organization, pays the stipend and basic health care benefits for the fellowship. The partner organization pays the fellow as an employee. (Stipends for each of the five open positions are noted below.)
Environmental Defense Fund
San Francisco, CA: $33,736. annual ($2,811.33 per month)
San Francisco, CA: $33,736 annual ($2,811.33 per month)
Washington, DC: $33,100 annual ($2,758.33 per month)
The Food Project
Lincoln, MA: $33,100 annual ($2,758.33 per month)
High Meadows Fund
Middlebury, VT: $33,100 annual ($2,758.33 per month)
Health Care Benefits
Thanks to the generosity of the High Meadows Foundation, the Pace Center covers basic healthcare benefits for the fellows. Fellows do not incur any cost towards their basic health plan. Health benefits information will be made available to the selected fellows, along with other details related to the position and organization.
Educational and Professional Development
High Meadows fellows are invited to participate in the Princeton AlumniCorps Princeton Project 55 (PP55) fellowship educational seminar series. The PP55 seminars are considered to be an important learning component of the fellowship, and provide a community of fellows interested and committed to addressing critical social problems.
Additional orientation and trainings in support of the fellows’ development may be offered by the Pace Center in collaboration with the partner organization. Fellows are expected to attend and participate in these additional trainings, as determined by the partner and the Pace Center. As relevant and appropriate, fellows may also be excused to participate in Princeton-sponsored conferences and other programs for the purposes of showcasing their work and associated learning to the broader Princeton community.
Fellows are encouraged to take advantage of professional development opportunities offered by the partner organization. The Pace Center asks the partner organization to accept responsibility for budgeting and funding any such programs, events, or other activities that are deemed critical to the work and responsibilities of the fellow in his or her current position.
Unique to the High Meadows fellowship are the leadership development of fellows and the fellow-driven reflective learning community. Each fellow brings their own unique perspectives, skills and talents and so is asked to put forth new ideas and new approaches that promote a High Meadows fellows' community and further enhance the fellowship experience and program.
The Pace Center requests that fellows be excused for Pace-coordinated off-site debrief and processing meetings with key officers of the High Meadows Foundation. These meetings will occur at least once during each year of the fellowship.
Fellows are asked to respond in a timely and complete manner to evaluation requests sent by the Pace Center. Evaluations will be shared with Pace Center staff and with the High Meadows Foundation and may be excerpted, with permission from the fellow, for publicity purposes to promote the fellowship program. The responses from these evaluations allow the Pace Center to improve and strengthen the fellowship program and fellow experience.
The Pace Center will periodically communicate with each fellow and his or her direct supervisor to request an update on the status of the fellowship, including, among other things, the fellow’s work and overall experience. This communication may be in the form of an email or a telephone call. The Pace Center asks for the full cooperation of the fellow and his or her direct supervisor in responding to these communications on a timely basis.
Pace asks that fellows be excused, as needed, to participate in recruitment and marketing programs in support of the High Meadows Fellowship program including, but not limited to, career fairs, fellowship information sessions, and debriefs with the funder.