The Elizabeth Fellows Program

Programs at the Elizabeth Edwards Foundation

Our Approach
The Elizabeth Fellows Program will identify students early in high school that show great potential, but have limited resources or support systems to reach that potential. The Elizabeth Fellows Program will provide comprehensive support and a broad network of resources to educate, enrich and empower these students to succeed. Students admitted to the program—known as Elizabeth Fellows—will be required to attain high standards of academic achievement and in turn will be given the necessary tools to do so, such as books and laptops.

The program’s curriculum also reflects the passions of Elizabeth Edwards, enhancing the Fellows’ lives through mentorship, advocacy, and public service. The ultimate goal is that each Fellow will not only get to college, but will set forth on a path to successfully complete college.

Our Research
Perhaps most importantly, the Elizabeth Edwards Foundation has learned the lessons of other non-profits in the youth development field, and we have structured the Fellows Program to reflect the newest research on effective strategies. Research shows that students need the most support during transitional times, such as the transition to college. Without this transitional support, the good intentions of any programming can be lost while a student flounders in a new environment because she has become dependent on a network that no longer exists. While many youth development programs give students support through the academic years of high school, Elizabeth Fellows will be in the program from the sophomore year of high school through the sophomore year of college. Further, the Elizabeth Fellows Program will focus on how to bridge the gap between the program’s support and finding that support in the real world.

The Need We Serve
The Elizabeth Fellows will take an individual approach, focusing on each Fellow and his or her individual needs and talents. Fellows will be carefully paired with mentors to ensure regular and effective attention to those needs and development of those talents. Mentors will also facilitate academic achievement to guarantee that no Fellow falls through the cracks. Through the program’s advocacy and public service components, each Fellow will also be personally empowered to value their own voice and give back to their community. By teaching Fellows life skills they need to succeed beyond the program and focusing on how each Fellow’s unique talents can contribute to their community, the Program will both open the Fellows’ worlds and provide them with essential opportunities for successful development as a scholar and a person.

For more on our core components, please click the links below.