The faces of the 2016 fellows

What is the Karel Fellowship?

The Karel Fellowship is an eight-week, paid, summer program that encourages first-generation and/or minority students to consider professional opportunities in the field of public interest communications. The Fellowship is focused on translating personal passion for a more just world into communication skills that elicit social change. Selected Fellows are matched with a leading local, national or international nonprofit in the Greater Washington, D.C. area, where they work on social justice issues under the guidance of a communications mentor. The program runs from June 14 – August 6, 2021.

Who is eligible?

First-generation and/or minority students who are rising juniors or seniors and have demonstrated a commitment to social justice are eligible to apply. Only Jack Kent Cooke Scholars or students who attend the University of Florida, Montgomery College, or Franklin & Marshall College will be considered. Strong communication skills not required but preferred.

How do I apply?

Students can apply online at In each addition to the online application, students must submit a recommendation letter. Recommendations must be sent to Karen Su at Online applications and recommendations are due February 26, 2021.

What are the perks?

D.C. is an expensive city, especially for interns. To help with living expenses, each Fellow will receive a $3,000 stipend (minus taxes), paid housing, and a travel stipend (amounts will vary depending on where Fellows are traveling from).

Post-fellowship Expectations

This isn’t just a summer internship, it’s a budding community!

Upon completing the program, Fellows will join a growing network of Karel alum. As alumni, you’ll be asked to help with recruitment, attend events and mentor incoming Fellows, among other things. You’re expected and encouraged to stay involved!

In past years Fellows have also been offered the opportunity to attend and speak at frank during the spring following their summer Fellowship. frank is a national conference hosted at the University Florida that brings together professionals from across the social change spectrum to discuss fresh research, insights and news pertaining to the field of public interest communications.

All travel, lodging and food expenses related to frank are covered by the Fellowship.

Support for the Fellowship comes from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Kellogg Foundation, Burness, Spitfire Strategies, Brodeur Partners, the Moriah Fund, the Viola Fund and Betsy Karel. The Karel Fellowship is fiscally sponsored by the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers.