HARTFORD, CT, June 11, 2012 – Unlike many college students who recently graduated, Michael Schlesinger knows exactly what he will be doing over the next three years, having been awarded two plum assignments: the Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs and a spot in the highly competitive Teach for America Program.
The Coro Fellowship, a full-time, nine-month experiential leadership-training program is given to only 64 students nationally. The rigorous and demanding program, which Coro describes as “unconventional by traditional academic standards,” is offered in five major cities.
Schlesinger, who graduated with a double major in public policy and law and Hispanic studies, will be based in Pittsburgh, PA. Schlesinger is from Ambler, PA, so for him, it will mean a return to his home state, although he said he’s looking forward to a “fun experience of being in a new community and getting inside the inner workings of it.”
That’s not much different from what Schlesinger did during his four years at Trinity, where he was involved in a broad range of activities in addition to the semester he spent studying at Trinity’s global learning site in Buenos Aires in the fall of 2010. At Trinity, Schlesinger participated in such events as Do It Day, and was a member of the Save Darfur Coalition, the Campus Climate Committee and the Student Board of the Hillel House. He also worked to develop a plan to improve the lighting on campus as a means of addressing campus safety.
“I’m consistently looking for ways to positively impact the community,” said Schlesinger. “The Coro Fellowship will allow me to take my leadership qualities and skills to the next level.”
Schlesinger said he wasn’t familiar with the Coro Fellows Program until he learned about it through the Career Services Office and from Anne Lundberg, director of urban programs and fellowships. “I thought it sounded like it was something that was really up my alley,” he said.
He was interviewed by a panel of judges in March and found out in April that he had been awarded one of the 64 fellowships, which are given to qualified candidates ranging in age from 21 to 53.
Schlesinger, who will begin his assignment in August, isn’t quite sure what his role and/or responsibilities will be, but according to the Coro Web site, the program “introduces participants to all aspects of the public affairs arena, preparing them to translate their ideals into action for improving their communities and beyond.” The Web site also says that Coro Fellows “learn to see the big picture – the community as a whole – and appreciate the varying perspectives that characterize our cities, states, and nation.”
Once the Coro Fellowship has concluded, Schlesinger can look forward to a second exciting and challenging adventure. He is one of 10 Trinity students who has been accepted into the Teach for America program, which recruits a diverse group of leaders with a record of achievement – many of them students from the finest colleges and universities in the country – that work to expand educational opportunities by teaching for two years in a low-income community.
Individuals who have been accepted into the program, called Corps members, teach students in grades pre-K through 12 and more than 10 different subjects in 43 regions across the country.
Teach for America has agreed to defer Schlesinger’s participation for a year.