Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between the first and second years of the Fellowship?

The first and second years of the Fellowship are structured to challenge and develop Fellows in their leadership experience.  The first year emphasizes the role of followership as a key skill in leadership development.  The first year professional development curriculum is comprised primarily of classroom-style learning, while the second year focus is on hands-on application of principles and theories learned in the first year. First year fellows serve as staff members for El Pomar programs, which are led and managed by second year Fellows.

How are Fellows assigned to the programs?

Upon arrival, incoming Fellows have the opportunity to express their interests and goals. Personal preferences are weighed against the staffing needs of various programs.  Fellows are typically assigned to three or four programs in their first year.  Every effort is made throughout the Fellowship experience to align opportunities with Fellows’ interests. Click here to learn more about El Pomar programs.

Do Fellows have the opportunity to work directly for nonprofits?

Fellows do not work directly for other nonprofits.  Their primary responsibility is to staff and manage  El Pomar's programs.  Fellows also work on various civic initiatives, projects, and special events, in addition to their program responsibilities.  Fellows are encouraged to gain additional hands-on experience by serving on a local nonprofit board or supporting local civic projects on a limited basis.  

What is a typical day like?

There is no typical day for a Fellow.  The Fellowship conducts weekly staff meetings on Monday to discuss program work, provide updates, host guest speakers, and give presentations on current events.  Mondays are also dedicated to the professional development curriculum.  Tuesdays are generally designated for program staff meetings, with the remainder of the week dedicated to general programmatic work, travel, and meetings.

How much do Fellows travel?

As a part of the Regional Partnerships program, Fellows travel throughout the state of Colorado.  Each Fellow is assigned to work in a single region or for the Regional Partnerships program as a whole.  Fellows travel to the regions for a variety of reasons including Regional Council meetings and site visits to past grant recipients. Fellows typically travel into the region on a quarterly basis.

What do Fellows typically do after the Fellowship?

The Fellowship is a training ground providing individuals transferable skills for leadership in all sectors and is therefore ideal for individuals seeking to attain varied experiences in their careers.  Fellows have gone on to work in the for-profit, nonprofit and government sectors. In addition, many Fellows capitalize on their two years of growth and work experience to continue their education at top law schools, business schools, and medical schools. 

How many hours a week do Fellows work?

At minimum, Fellows are expected to work from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday. Fellows are paid a full salary and are expected to work as much as their responsibilities dictate. This freedom allows Fellows to learn valuable time management skills. Factoring in frequent opportunities to attend special events, required overnight travel, and occasional late-night projects, Fellows typically work a 40 to 50 hour week.

Do Fellows have to live in Colorado Springs?

Living in Colorado Springs is not a requirement.  However, unless out of town for Foundation business, Fellows are expected to report to work each day at the Foundation's headquarters in southwest Colorado Springs.

How are Fellows selected?

Selection for the Fellowship is highly competitive and is the result of a rigorous interview and review process.  Candidates should demonstrate strong leadership capability and potential, the ability to work as a member of a team, and have an interest in public service or civic engagement.

What experience do Fellows have to have before being selected?

Many Fellows come to El Pomar right after their undergraduate studies in such diverse fields as Political Science, Art History, Biology, Creative Writing, and Business Administration.  Other Fellows have come to El Pomar after obtaining graduate degrees or after significant work experience.  Each Fellowship class is an outstanding mix of individuals with diverse backgrounds and interests.

What are informational interviews?

Informational interviews are offered for interested individuals wanting to learn more about the Fellowship experience.  An informational interview is an opportunity for the prospective candidates to get a better sense of the experience offered through the Fellowship program by meeting with current Fellows on the recruiting staff.  Informational interviews are not a part of the Fellowship selection process.

Informational interviews can be scheduled by visiting this page and emailing

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