PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT RETREATS


Fellows gather twice a year for one of the highlights of the Fellowship program—the retreats. The four-day retreats are held in one of our host cities—Boston, New York or Philadelphia. Because the schedule rotates, you will visit all our host cities by the end of your Fellowship.

Retreats include a full schedule with leadership training, hands-on workshops, skill development, site visits and opportunities for reflection. You’ll be challenged to think about big ideas—what power and inclusion mean, the role nonprofits play in public policy, or the widespread effects of income inequality. You’ll gain practical skills, too—how to deploy the power of community organizing, hone your presentation skills, identify professional opportunities that are a good match for your skills and interest, negotiate your salary or understand your leadership style. And you’ll hear from other Fellows about their work at their own host organizations and gain exposure to other critical social issues.

In addition, Fellows benefit from discussions with special guests from leading social impact nonprofits and experts in organizational development, policy, and education. For example, FAO Schwarz Fellows have met with Gerald Chertavian, CEO and Founder of Year Up, a non-profit organization that provides intensive professional education to urban young adults, and with Yael Lehmann, President & CEO of The Food Trust, which strives to make healthy food available to all.

GAINING A WIDER PERSPECTIVE

The goal of the Fellowship retreats is to give you the chance to step back from day-to-day challenges and responsibilities and consider the bigger landscape of social impact. How do leaders solve social problems? How do you effectively address inequalities in the short term while you’re working toward long-term solutions? How do social impact leaders navigate competing demands?

Retreats contribute to a sense of community among the FAO Schwarz Fellows. The camaraderie and collegiality of the fellowship cohort is an important component of the fellowship experience—one that every Fellow comes to treasure. Retreats include team-building activities and plenty of informal time together for more casual conversations. You’ll have lots of time to socialize with your cohort and meet with some alumni Fellows.

At the end of the four days, you’ll return to your host organization with a deeper understanding of social impact work. With new friends and a richer network, you’ll be refreshed and renewed and ready to apply new skills and knowledge for greater impact in your organization and community.

RETREAT SCHEDULE

SEPTEMBER 
FAO Schwarz Fellowship hosts Fellow orientations.

OCTOBER 
Fall professional development retreat for Fellows. Retreat locations rotate among Boston, New York City and Philadelphia.

APRIL
Spring professional development retreat for Fellows. Retreat locations rotate among Boston, New York City and Philadelphia.

“My Fellowship with Strong Women, Strong Girls was a launch-pad for a long-term role as a Program Manager with the organization. It launched what I hope will be a creative, innovative and brave career in nonprofit leadership.”

Sarah Kacevich | FAO Schwarz Fellow at Strong Women, Strong Girls in Boston | 2016

LEARN MORE

Direct Service & Special Projects
Retreats
Mentoring
Launching Your Career

REFLECTIONS ON RETREATS

  • Refining Your Core Values

    I’ll never forget that first retreat with the Fellowship in the fall of 2012. As we all sat down in JumpStart’s conference room in midtown Manhattan, we introduced ourselves and......

  • The Accomplishments of our Fellows

    One of the highlights of our fall retreat in Philadelphia was the participation of many supreme fellows in our reunion dinner and in a professional development session around the power......

  • Social Justice in Our Work

    Among the vast selection of picture books in the Reading Partners Library at PS 3 is Margaree King Miller’s, Granddaddy’s Gift. Miller’s book tells the story of a young black......