Bush Foundation invites applications for 2014 Bush Fellowship Program

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Network faithful in Minnesota, North and South Dakota, and the twenty-three Native nations that share the same geography please take note. The Bush Foundation, which strives to be a catalyst in shaping vibrant communities in Minnesota, North and South Dakota, and the twenty-three Native nations that share the same geography, is accepting applications for the 2014 Bush Fellowship Program.

The fellowship program is designed to provide an opportunity for individuals in the foundation's service area to increase their capacity for and improve their practice of leadership while working with others to solve tough problems in their communities.

The program seeks applicants from across all fields and disciplines. Applicants will propose their own fellowship plan (including the community they want to work in), the problem they want to work on, and their method for mobilizing the community toward a solution. Fellows will partner with people from all sides of the problem, seeking creative, innovative solutions that go beyond the status quo, and will spend the majority of their time inside the community.

The fellowship provides an opportunity to learn by actually doing the work of trying to mobilize others to find solutions to a tough problem. While most of the learning during the fellowship is experiential, fellows also may include the following as part of their fellowship plans in order to enhance their learning and increase their effectiveness: individual classes on specific topics; conferences, seminars, and workshops; site visits to learn about innovative work; interviews with experts; and internships.

Fellows are required to attend eight leadership development seminars offered by the Bush Foundation as part of the fellowship. The seminars occur during the first two years of the grant.

To make the program more flexible for potential fellows, the foundation has introduced some changes to the program, beginning with the 2014 Bush Fellowship cohort, including allowing funds to be used to pursue academic credentialing (with exceptions for some public officials), or self-designed programs that develop leadership skills; selecting Bush Fellows once annually and announcing 2014 Bush Fellows in March 2014; and increasing funding requests to up to $100,000 per fellow.

The program is open to U.S. citizens and permanent residents who are at least 24 years of age and who have lived for at least one continuous year in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, or the twenty-three Native nations that share the same geography.

Fellowships will provide support ranging from $25,000 to $100,000 over two years based on the plan the applicant proposes. In addition to the two years of funding, fellows also commit to engage with the foundation to advance its goal of building leadership capacity within its defined geographic region for two more years immediately following the end of their fellowship.

Fellows will not be required to take a leave of absence from their employment in order to pursue the fellowship.

For complete program guidelines, application procedures, information on the 2013 Bush Fellows, and an FAQ, visit the Bush Foundation Web site.

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