Logos of the 5 new Fellowship host organizations: Mighty Writers, The Barnes Foundation, the Boston Museum of Science, Yearup, and Jumpstart.

FAO Schwarz Family Foundation Announces Hosts for New Fellowships

BOSTON, MA. November 1, 2020 — The FAO Schwarz Family Foundation has selected five social impact organizations to host the 2021-2023 cohort of FAO Schwarz Fellows.

The Foundation will sponsor six two-year Fellowships in social impact at five nationally recognized nonprofits. The organizations selected this year are The Barnes Foundation (Philadelphia), Mighty Writers (Philadelphia), The Museum of Science (Boston) and Year Up (New York City). Each will host one new FAO Schwarz Fellowship position. The fifth host, Jumpstart, will host two positions—one in Boston and one in New York City. 

The Fellowships are two-year paid positions that develop the leadership skills of recent college graduates interested in pursuing careers related to social change. From education in the arts to education in science, from a focus on young adults to a focus on young children, from small and newer organizations to the larger and well-established, the diversity of organizations selected as hosts will provide the next cohort with a wide view of the social impact landscape.

In a year marked by a tragic pandemic and social unrest, developing young leaders is more important than ever.

“The Foundation works closely with select host organizations to design high-quality, transformative experiences that develop our Fellows’ leadership skills,” said Priscilla Cohen, Executive Director of the FAO Schwarz Family Foundation. “In a year marked by a tragic pandemic and social unrest, developing young leaders is more important than ever, Nonprofits around the country are engaged in radically rethinking their work and how they deliver their services. At the same time, we know graduating seniors have had their educational experiences disrupted and are now facing a tumultuous job market. We’re grateful we can provide these talented future leaders with a paid two-year professional experience—and a front-row seat to what we think will be an incredibly dynamic period of intense social change.”

The Fellows’ dedication to social change serves as an inspiration to hosts who take their responsibility for the Fellows’ professional development seriously. “It is critical for museums and cultural institutions to provide growth and learning opportunities for the next generation of change agents in the field,” said Barbara Wong, Director of Community Engagement at the Barnes Foundation, which is hosting a FAO Schwarz Fellow for the first time. Jumpstart President and COO Jennifer Templeman agrees. “We must all play a role in developing the young leaders who will create innovative and tangible ways to address inequities for the next generation.“

Host organizations also appreciate the value of increased organizational capacity that comes with hosting a Fellow.  Tim Whitaker, Executive Director of  Mighty Writers,  said “In light of the pandemic, it’s all hands on deck at Mighty Writers. To be effective, you need to be able to pivot quickly to meet the needs of the moment. Having a young fellow onboard that brings enthusiasm and energy to MW will be invaluable in this moment.”

Director of Education and Outreach Programs Sharon Horrigan at the Museum of Science in Boston makes a similar point. “Supporting the agency of young social impact leaders at the Museum of Science will help the organization be a relevant and purposeful community partner that inspires, innovates, and contributes to positive local and global social change.”

Two of the host organizations selected this year have previously hosted a FAO Schwarz Fellow. “We have consistently found FAO Schwarz Fellows bring unique perspective and insight to our work with young adults, and enrich the site in which they work,” noted Elaine Chow, Chief Human Resources Officer at Year Up, which is currently hosting two FAO Schwarz Fellows, which will be hosting two new Fellows, has also hosted previously.  CEO, Naila Bolus said, “FAO Schwarz Fellows consistently bring insightful, invaluable support to Jumpstart’s policy work and community programs, helping us make meaningful progress on our goals.” 


Creating Future Impact Leaders

The FAO Schwarz Fellowship program is looking forward to welcoming its 15th cohort.  Since its founding in 2006, there have been 60 FAO Schwarz Fellows. Sixty percent have gone on to graduate programs, 35 percent have been hired by their host organizations, and 98 percent continue to work in the social impact sector.

How to Apply

The Fellowship is highly selective. To apply for the Fellowship, applicants must be college seniors at the time of application and eligible to work for two-years in the United States. Successful candidates will have strong academic records, leadership potential, and a commitment to social impact. The application deadline for the 2021-2023 cohort is February 10, 2021 (11:59 pm EST). The Fellowships are paid two-year full-time positions and include benefits. Visit the FAO Schwarz Fellowship website for more information.


The Barnes Foundation is a nonprofit cultural and educational institution in Philadelphia, and its mission is to promote the advancement of education and the appreciation of the fine arts and horticulture.

Jumpstart provides language, literacy, and social-emotional programming for preschool children from under-resourced communities and promotes quality early learning for all.

Mighty Writers’ mission is to teach Philadelphia students to think and write with clarity so they can achieve success at school, at work and in life 

One of the world’s largest science centers and New England’s most highly attended cultural institution, the Museum of Science engages its audiences in STEM education through exhibits, in-person and digital education programs, and curricula.

Year Up seeks to close the Opportunity Divide by providing urban young adults with the skills, experiences and support that will empower them to reach their potential through professional careers and higher education.