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New Americans Fellowship




  
Eligible DACA Recipients Invited to Apply by March 1, 2021
The County of Santa Clara is offering the New Americans Fellowship program to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients living, working, or going to school in Santa Clara County. The New Americans Fellowship, a 10-week leadership program that runs from June through August 2021, offers a stipend of up to $10,000 to cover living expenses. The application is available at http://www.sccoir.org/naf and is due by the end of the day on March 1, 2021.

Fellows receive mentoring and career pipeline support from County leaders and from various mentoring County departments; as part of the Fellowship, participants gain transferable skills and professional development in the areas of research and policy analysis, public communication, group facilitation, and project management. They are also trained to serve as community ambassadors to improve and expand immigrant integration.

“New American Fellowship is an opportunity for Dreamers to gain leadership and career experience within Santa Clara County. This fellowship offers more than technical skills--it supports networking with other fellows who share similar experiences and with mentoring departments. We have seen Dreamers earn gainful employment, offer important recommendations to improve county processes and programs, and learn about how the county comprehensively serves the immigrant community. More importantly, we have been inspired by the fellows as they continue to learn, grow, and succeed, honoring of their families’ sacrifices and perseverance,” said Zelica Rodriguez-Deams, OIR Director.

The Office of Immigrant Relations is committed to building a welcoming, equitable and just county that supports the full potential of all residents. Within the framework of Welcoming Communities, the County created the New Americans Fellowship program for DACA recipients with skills and tools to serve as ambassadors of change and inclusion in the community. 
 ​
Spearheaded by County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisor Dave Cortese and managed by the Office of Immigrant Relations, the New Americans Fellowship is a leadership pipeline for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients living, working, or going to school in Santa Clara County. The Fellowship is 10 weeks and offers career development and a stipend of up to $10,000 to cover living expenses. Fellows are placed in various County departments and gain transferable skills and professional development such as:

  • Research and policy analysis 
  • Public communication and group facilitation
  • Graphic design and marketing
  • Develop knowledge to intergovernmental processes
  • Project support and management
  • County software​ 
  • Serve as ambassadors to improve and expand immigrant integration​
​ About the Fellowship
10-week program between June 2021 – August 2021
Up to $10,000 stipend to cover living expenses
Fellows’ projects for the 10 weeks typically require full-time commitment
Fellows work on a research and/or community engagement project focused on immigrant integration
Fellows are assigned to engage regularly and communicate with various County departments and County leaders during the fellowship
Mentoring departments and leading County staff will provide mentorship support to fellows to understand the County’s safety net programs and apply an immigrant community lens to all projects
Professional development experience in the context of County government
Engage fellows in developing research and policy recommendations
Fellows Will
Gain knowledge about County government operations
Receive mentoring and career development from County leaders and various departments
Develop a deeper understanding about safety net programs
Conduct independent research and develop policy recommendations
Advance the County’s mission to build a more equitable society in the context of social justice
Timeline
Application Period Opens on February 1, 2021
Application Deadline: March 1, 2021
Letter(s) of Recommendation Deadline: March 12, 2021
Notification of Selection: April 6, 2021
Benefits
Up to $10,000 stipend to cover living expenses
Mentorship from subject matter experts
Letter(s) of recommendation
Exposure to local government
Professional skills such as:
Research and policy analysis 
Public communication and group facilitation
Knowledge of intergovernmental processes
Project support and management
County software and technical support
Experience to serve as ambassadors to improve and expand immigrant integration
Eligibility Requirements (All Must Apply)
Current recipient of Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals (DACA) with work permit* eligibility through the entire length of the fellowship (June 2021 - August 2021)
Employment authorization card
Currently working, living, or attending school in Santa Clara County
Commit to 10 weeks between June 2021 - August 2021
Undergraduate or graduate student, or recent college graduate
Desire to be involved in social justice for the immigrant community
*A current DACA recipient is an individual with a current grant of deferred action under the U.S. government’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
How to Apply
Complete the application at http://www.sccoir.org/naf (deadline is March 1, 2021)
Provide 1-2 letters of recommendation from individuals or organizations you have worked or collaborated with that can provide insight to your public service activities and leadership skills (deadline for recommendation letters is March 12, 2021)
College transcript(s) 
Analytical or other academic writing sample (3-5 pages long) 

​"I would like to thank the Board and the Office of Immigrant Relations for this opportunity. The fellowship allowed me to gain professional skills that I can use in the next step of my life. I am grateful for the networking and friendships made here. I would recommend this program to everyone."
—2019 fellow


Background Summary
Initiated in 2016 by the County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors at the request of Board President Dave Cortese, the New Americans Fellowship provides Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients an opportunity to serve Santa Clara County’s immigrant communities and become ambassadors of DACA in Santa Clara County. ​The Office of Immigrant Relations provides full oversight and program management.
  
Who is a current DACA recipient?  
A current DACA recipient is an individual with a current grant of deferred action under the U.S. government’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

DACA gives young undocumented immigrants:
    1. Protection from deportation
    2. A work permit
​The program expires after two years, subject to renewal. For more information, visit the USCIS website

*Free to low cost resources for DACA renewals provided by the County of Santa Clara is available here​.


  
Goals at a Glance
The NAF advances the County’s commitment to build Welcoming Communities through harnessing the full potential of immigrants by ensuring that workforce systems can leverage their unique experiences and skills.

1. Create and maintain a leadership pipeline for DACA recipients where fellows continue to
    • Actively participate in civic life
    • Work for social change and public service
    • Professional development for economic opportunity: transition to jobs with sustainable wages​
    • Serve as ambassadors to improve and expand immigrant integration​​
2. Fellows to gain critical policy analysis skills and ​develop recommendations to improve County services​
    • With mentorship support, independently research and analyze policies that impact immigrant communities
    • Develop policy recommendations to improve County services​
"The New Americans Fellowship provided valuable connections and lifelong mentors within the County government. This fellowship program also proved to be crucial by providing the experience necessary towards advancing my professional career."
–2019 fellow Kevin Lee, Policy Aide at the Office of Supervisor Dave Cortese, District 3


  
Impact
"As a DACA recipient, I noticed that there are very few paid fellowships for people like me. The New American Fellowship opened doors for my cohort. We got to meet with elected officials, community organizations, County departments and many more to learn how Santa Clara County continues to be a welcoming space to the immigrant community."
 —2018 fellow Alejandra Garcia, California State Legislature, Assembly Appropriations Committee

The NAF is exemplary of equity by providing disadvantaged students and recent graduates an opportunity to impact and drive decisions
at a policy level. In addition, there are numerous cost benefits when considering their skills and lived experiences as DACA recipients.

County Government Impact
    • Increases County visibility, which also increases sought-after student talent wanting to gain experience with the County
Community Impact
    • Promotes an intersectional approach to equity and social justice to support immigrant communities
Economic Impact
    • County-invested leadership opportunities for DACA recipients translate to significant contributions to the economy
Academic Impact
    • Fellows gain skills in policy analysis, practical experience, and other highly desired skills that would diversify academia

Survey Findings


  • 93% of participants felt the NAF was a valuable experience
  • 72% of participants believed the NAF was a valuable experience for their academic growth
  • 72% of participants will continue to pursue career opportunities in the specific field of their fellowship
  • 57% of participants responded “yes” to being interested in pursing a role in local government and 43% responded “possibly” 

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Last updated: 1/22/2021 3:52 PM