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Building the Next Generation of Advocates

Jake Siegel

"What surprised me the most about this work is that we as fellows are given so much responsibility.  We are counted on to become experts in our issue areas, and also to represent Voices in a variety of settings.  We testify at public hearings, and attend meetings with legislators and other high level officials.  I have learned a tremendous amount during my time at Voices through my work with our senior staff."

—Jake Siegel, Policy Fellow, 2010-2012

Learn more about the impact of Connecticut Voices' fellowships


 

Connecticut Voices’ work actively fosters and relies on the next generation of policy leadership. Our policy fellowships offer full-time positions to exceptional recent college graduates with a strong interest in advancing public policy to benefit children and youth. Our innovative partnership with Yale Law School’s Legislative Advocacy Clinic provides Connecticut Voices with the able assistance of law students with an interest in policy. Connecticut Voices, in turn, provides these students with hands-on experience in the legislative and policy process. Students at the Yale School of Public Health help to conduct research aimed at improving access to health care.  Talented college and graduate students who desire a range of experiences in policy analysis and advocacy have served as interns.

Two-year fellowships

We most actively promote leadership development through our rotating two-year junior fellows program. These are entry-level policy positions at Connecticut Voices specifically designed for people who have been out of college for no more than two years and who are interested in doing state-level policy work before entering graduate or professional schools.

Tamara Kramer"My favorite moments of the fellowship are those that push me out of my comfort zone and require me to grow as both an advocate and a person. Over the past year I have had the opportunity to testify at public hearings in front of rooms of over forty people, participate in a task force with members of the Connecticut’s executive branch and present on a national advocacy conference call.  Each one of these experiences at first seemed daunting, but with the support of the organization’s senior staff I have not only been able to “get through” these moments but have come to look forward to these times as an opportunity to continue to learn."

—Tamara Kramer, Policy Fellow, 2008-2010

Learn more about the impact of Connecticut Voices' fellowships

Fellows engage in a variety of policy, research, and advocacy work with senior staff trained in law, public health, education, and social work.   In addition, fellows will work on state legislative initiatives by preparing testimony for legislative hearings and collaborating with partner organizations.

The policy fellows are critical components in our work in the tax and budget, family economic security, early care and education, child welfare, K-12 education, and health areas. They help design, execute and disseminate original research and policy analysis. We also rely on them to gain expertise in a substantive area so that that they can act an independent resource for other staff, collaborative partners, policymakers, and the public.

Candidates must have a bachelor’s degree, excellent research, writing, and presentation skills, strong interpersonal skills and initiative, and a commitment to social justice.  They must also demonstrate passion about the full range of issues that affect children and their families. Quantitative skills and experience with data analysis is preferred.  The fellowship begins during the summer and the position is typically announced toward the end of the previous year.