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Growing Home Fellowship

Applications for 2022 are officially closed. Stay in touch for Growing Home Fellowship opportunities in 2023!

About the Program

The Foundation for Appalachian Ohio’s Growing Home Fellowship leverages the potential of young adults, ages 18-35, in the K-12 workforce to advance sustained transformation in communities across Appalachian Ohio. This program seeks to identify emerging leaders who feel compelled to serve their communities and who are excited to connect with other passionate, committed young people across Appalachian Ohio. Fellows will be supported with financial stipends, leadership development experiences, and peer support.

Fellows agree to live, work, and volunteer in Appalachian Ohio for a five-year period, during which they will participate in a leadership development cohort focused on one of these topics: regional, local, or sector-based servant leadership.  

Over five years, fellows will receive a $32,000 stipend to ensure their continued employment in the K-12 workforce and residency in Appalachian Ohio. This stipend may be used at the fellow’s discretion.

Program Overview

Fellows agree to live, work, and volunteer through a meaningful leadership development program in Appalachian Ohio for a five-year period. This leadership development program will include service, skill-building, and increasing social connections focused on one of the following topics: regional, local community development, or sector- based servant leadership.

Within each leadership cohort, fellows will be supported in developing their own outcomes-based leadership role. Foundation for Appalachian Ohio will work with fellows to define activities, outputs, and outcomes for the scope of these roles, seeking to ignite change and inspire possibility in our communities.

Fellows will participate in one of the following leadership cohorts:

  1. Regional Leadership through FAO’s I’m A Child of Appalachia® Fund

    Enhance the regional community by supporting grant and scholarship programs, capacity-building initiatives, events, and partnerships.

    In this cohort, fellows will work with the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio to expand and grow regional opportunities. Examples might include becoming a First Book ambassador, participating in grant review committees, helping scale region-wide initiatives, participating in FAO events, etc.

  2. Local Community Development

    Enhance the local community by volunteering for and collaborating with local community foundations and/or other community-service organizations.

    In this cohort, fellows will partner with existing community foundations or community-service organizations to help drive local priorities while gaining leadership skills.

  3. Sector-Based Programming Initiatives

    Enhance the education sector in a significantly expanded way and/or leverage educational expertise to strengthen the broader community.

    In this cohort, fellows will have creativity and flexibility in designing or furthering a leadership service project related to a special interest or area of expertise. Fellows already engaged in meaningful leadership service will have the opportunity to expand their roles, while fellows interested in starting a new leadership service project will receive support in doing so.

In addition to their leadership cohort roles, each fellow will be expected to attend and participate in no more than 10 program convenings and summits over the five years of the pilot program period. Additionally, Fellows will be invited to join and participate in FAO events at their convenience over the course of the fellowship.

Eligibility, Selection Process and Notification of Awards

To be eligible for this fellowship, you must meet the following requirements:

    1. Applicant resides within Appalachian Ohio OR will be moving to the region for employment.
    2. Applicant is between the ages of 18 and 35 years old (as of December 31, 2022.)
    3. Applicant serves the K-12 population (Including, but not limited to, educators, intervention specialists, counselors, school psychologists, support staff, etc.)
    4. Applicant is passionate about developing leadership skills and for Appalachian Ohio. (Fellows will participate in no more than 10 convenings over the 5-year commitment.)
    5. Applicant graduates on or before Summer of 2023 (Proof of residency and employment will be required by July 1st, 2023.)

    Additional Guidelines:
  1. Consideration will be given to identify leaders in areas of geographic need and in alignment with FAO's community fund counties.
FAO has appointed a Fellowship Advisory Committee to recommend awards. Final approval is made by FAO’s Board of Trustees, and decisions are final. Award recipients will be required to show proof of employment and residency. All awards are made payable directly to the individual and are considered taxable income. 
FAO will contact recipients using the email address and phone number(s) provided on the application. Be sure to check all email folders, including spam, for correspondence from FAO.

Support for the development and production of this material was provided through the federally funded GEER Grant Program, administered by the Ohio Department of Higher Education.

The Growing Home Fellowship pilot is funded through a public-private partnership, with federal funding from the US Department of Education (75% or $4 million) and private funding made possible by generous donors to the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio (25% or $1 million).


Contact or call 740-753-1111.
Read frequently asked questions by clicking here.