The Advancing Young Women 2024 Professional Fellows Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and is administered by Michigan State University (US), University of Rwanda (Rwanda), University of Pretoria (South Africa), University of Zambia (Zambia) and Chinhoyi University of Technology (Zimbabwe).
The goal of the program is to build Fellows’ capacity and skills in agro-entrepreneurship and agri-food system innovation and advance their ability to support women’s economic empowerment. Rwandan, South African, Zambian and Zimbabwean Fellows will develop their leadership capacity and professional skills through a fully funded five-week fellowship program in the U.S.
The U.S. program will include a four-week professional internship with Michigan organizations focused on agriculture, innovation, agro-entrepreneurship, and women’s empowerment coupled with additional seminars and training with professionals from Michigan State University and throughout the state of Michigan.
The five-week program in the U.S. is tentatively scheduled for May 10 – June 16, 2025. The program will include:
Part 1: Nine-month virtual program lead-in prior to travel to East Lansing, Michigan
Program partners will deliver synchronous and asynchronous virtual sessions to prepare Fellows for their professional exchanges, introduce them to the program team and hosts, and end with a pre-departure orientation.
Part 2: Post-Arrival Orientation in East Lansing, Michigan
The orientation will familiarize the program participants with each other as well as the program and topics to be covered during the exchange. Fellows will also be given resources to help acclimate to U.S. culture and East Lansing.
Part 3: Four-Week Program in Michigan Communities
Participants will take part in internships with Michigan institutions and participate in seminars and meetings with U.S. leaders in economic development in the food and agriculture sector. Fellows will also identify an agricultural challenge faced by their community and design an individual project to address the issue, which the Fellows will implement upon returning home. Fellows will develop their individual project plan over the course of the exchange, utilizing the skills developed during the on-campus seminars and working with their mentors from the Michigan-based organizations. Seminars will combine presentations and discussions to provide an opportunity for Fellows to share experiences from their home countries and organizations and observations from their internship placements. Fellows will also have the opportunity to experience U.S. culture through site visits, special events, and sharing dinners with local families.
Part 4: Three-Day Participation in the Professional Fellows Congress in Washington, DC
The Fellowship program will culminate with a three-day Congress in Washington, D.C. The Congress will allow participants the opportunity to meet and share their experience with Fellows from around the world and participate in dialogue to examine the roles of individual and institutional leadership in economic development and women’s economic empowerment.
Michigan State University (MSU) (U.S.), the University of Rwanda (UR) (Rwanda), the University of Pretoria (UP) (South Africa) the University of Zambia (UNZA) (Zambia), and Chinhoyi University of Technology (CUT) (Zimbabwe)
Complete all of the questions in this application in English and include the following additional items in your application package (which can be uploaded at the end of this on-line application)
|Type of Opportunity
|Scholarships and Fellowships
|Michigan State University