"Where I'm From" Fellowship Program Empowers Youth

The Good Policy Institute, in partnership with The Westchester County Youth Bureau and NewFlex Hoops, launches the “Where I’m From” Fellowship program. This program aims to empower disengaged youth, aged 14-21, from youth programs and faith-based organizations in communities including New Rochelle, Yonkers, Greenburgh, White Plains, Ossining, Peekskill, and Mt. Vernon through civic engagement and advocacy. The fellowship program focuses on addressing historical and current biopsychosocial impacts in these communities.

The “Where I’m From” Fellowship offers young people the opportunity to research and present on a topic of their choice within three different categories:

1. Exploring ancestral ties and understanding the shared experiences, struggles, and resilience of enslaved individuals and their descendants.

2. Environmental justice, addressing environmental issues and their impact on communities.

3. Sustainable practices and community empowerment, exploring ways to create positive change in their neighborhoods.

Over the course of six months, the program guides the scholars through monthly focus areas, culminating in an essay and presentation event for both the scholars and the community. Meetings with the students takes place virtually and in person on Sunday afternoons, with three virtual weeks and one hybrid virtual or in-person meeting per month. Scholar leaders will provide guidance and support, meeting with the scholars at least once a week. The fellows will learn research techniques, advocacy methods, oral and written communication skills, and public speaking.

Participants are evaluated based on their writing samples and their social media campaigns or art presentations. The highest-scoring fellows will receive cash and gift prizes, in addition to recognition as Good Policy Institute Fellows. The program aims to equip the scholars with grassroots organizing skills and the ability to advocate effectively by providing them with comprehensive research and scholarship resources.

By engaging youth in their communities and encouraging them to become informed advocates, the “Where I’m From” Fellowship program seeks to create a generation of empowered change-makers who can address local issues and contribute to sustainable and equitable development. (

Weekly zoom sessions are through November 15, 5-7pm. October event introducing scholars and recognizing local history makers. Monthly meetings with industry leaders and scholar leadership.

Sundays in-person

• September Yonkers

• September 19 National Voter Registration Day

• October Mt. Vernon

• October Legacy event – Tarrytown

• November TDYCC

• December MUMC

Other Good Policy Institute Events:

September Honest series on being black and Latin – Spanish speaking

September Honest series – Reparations with NAACP

September African American Chamber of Commerce event – September – with Covid19 health information

October Honest series event – Legacy awards, scholar introduction, and Covid 19 health information

October Honest series event – Long Covid and patient led healthcare

November Honest Series – Economic Sustainability with NAACP and Chambers of Commerce

November Honest Series – Building Black Wealth in Westchester

December – scholar awards