The annual Leader/Creative Fellowship provides The Chicago School students in Chicago, Southern California, and Online with the opportunity to create, implement, and evaluate a community based project of their choice at a non-profit organization. This year, up to four students on each campus will receive a $1,000 fellowship and support from the Community Partnerships Department. Fellowships are offered to students who create their own project and present their idea to the Community Partnership Department. Emphasis is placed on project feasibility, sustainability, innovation, and integration of community need into the project goals and outcomes.
Applications for the fellowship begins in late October, Fellows are selected in December, for specific dates please email Dr. Nadia Rojas Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Through the DFSS grant, Community Partnerships in collaboration with The Community Builders Inc. at Oakley Square Apartments in
Chicago, provides fellowships for $1,000 - $1,500 for students providing tutoring to K-5th graders in reading or social-emotional learning curriculum to K-8th graders weekly. Programs begin in October and goes through the first week in June. Opportunities for these Fellowships will be promoted at the Chicago Fall Job & Volunteer Fair in September.
Creative Fellowship Recipient
Aaron Engelberg, Clinical Psychology: Ableism Workshop for Faculty
It is well-documented that ableism is promulgated in higher education and psychology. This was further impressed upon me during my initial clinical training at TCSPP in which the perspectives and voices of disabled people were not incorporated into my education or training. Vignettes, the center of this project, is one way to change this. By completing this workshop, clinical faculty are trained how to incorporate a wider range of commonly negated identities in their teaching vignettes. And because vignettes are how instructors, and thus students, conceptualize clients, client conceptualization is also viewed through a multicultural lens. I will then use This is taken a step further by then contributing to the scientific community with a novel, diversity-centered rubric in which vignettes are appraised.
Sophia Ortiz, Clinical Psychology: Assisting Cal Poly Pomona Womxn's Center
The Cal Poly Pomona Womxn's Center fellowship position initially caught my eye as it provides a lovely combination of my strongest area of expertise and experience (LGBTQ+ populations, gender, and sexuality) with the area of my professional life that I am currently working toward fortifying and expanding (training and consultation). I would be honored to have the opportunity to continue to grow professionally in an environment where I can also be in direct service to my community, and this position appears to offer just that.
Marla King, Applied Clinical Psychology: Support Group for NAMI
The goal of this project is to create a greater sense of community and support within our members that may be struggling with feelings of isolation. This is open to anybody who is feeling depressed or anxious after the pandemic. There may be some people that are struggling to get back to work among other issues. Family and friends who have loved ones with mental health problems are also welcomed to attend these meetings in order to find support in their experience.
Lo LeChien, MFT: Dismantling White Supremacy. A Safe Circle with Music and Self Exploration.
In 2021, addressing issues of white identity, white privilege, and dismantling white supremacy in communities that benefit from white privilege is still considered taboo. Many white people avoid taking a hard look within, ignore having uncomfortable conversations, and are reluctant to do the “deep, raw, challenging, personal, heartbreaking, and heart expanding work" (Saad, 2020, p.5) that could implement lasting change towards racial justice and healing. This initiative seeks to build a more Beloved Community on TSCPP campuses by providing a safe, healing container for students of all backgrounds to deconstruct white identity, dismantle white supremacy, and put anti-racism into action. I will conduct this project through utilizing the Circle Way format of discussion where there is not 'expert' in the room and responsibility/leadership is shared within the group.
Alagna Valsesia, MFT: Mindfulness Program for Schools.
I have been lucky enough to have had a plethora of mindfulness resources made available to me. These resources helped me learn how to process emotion, practice self-awareness, and have ultimately led to fantastic opportunities to learn healthy control over myself and my behaviors. In my time since beginning mindfulness practice, I have worked with integrative teachers, taken on leadership opportunities in my home community with mindfulness in schools, and even spent a month of 2015 with the spiritual teacher Ram Dass practicing meditation. The initial meetings with students will primarily focus on the basics of mindfulness, with engaging easy exercises that allow students to adjust to the language and approach. Moving forward, my goal is to engage with the students with a variety of different mindfulness platforms focusing on somatic experience. For example, experimentation with movement, breath, posture, and expression. As sessions continue, I would like to incorporate mindfulness practice with sound and, if Covid restrictions permit, smell and taste. I will know that this project is a success if the students come out of the experience feeling that they have learned a new skill to process and differentiate emotion in a way that reflects clear and earnest self-reflection and assessment.
Amanda Wheeler, MFT: Positive Self Image and Eating Disorders for Schools
The school psychologist at Magnolia Science Academy has voiced the increase in concern for middle and high school students with body image issues or eating disorders. I would like to put together a presentation for both groups that brings the topic to the forefront of discussion and addresses these problems. I will approach the presentation from a systems perspective since it is a greater societal problem that has increased exponentially in the last few years. I would like to address social pressures to be thin as well as have an interactive/ processing component to the presentation about self-confidence and ways to be healthy. I am also a certified personal trainer so would like to go into the effects of eating disorders from both a fitness and psychological perspective.
Goldi Gill, PhD Business Psychology: Mental Health Resources for BIWOC
Create an online space for mental health resources (curated from Health Canada, Canadian Mental Health Association and many more organizations), art, and stories for Black, Indigenous, and women of color (BIWOC). This space will include mental health resources specifically for BIWOC. Also, this space will host room for BIWOC to share their art, poems, and stories regarding the impacts of mental health, to assist others with uplifting spirts and bringing awareness to this important issue.
Domenica D. Ottolino, International Psychology: Literacy Program for Adult Spanish Speakers
The community has a high number of Spanish-speaking adults with low or no literacy skills in their native language. They are also parents in our district. As a bilingual social worker, I will work to engage these adult/parents in an on-going literacy program. I have extensive experience in community engagement and educating parents through one-on-one or group programs; furthermore, my bilingual and bicultural skills would be beneficial.
Madison Wade, BA Psychology: RBT Resources
RBT resources will be a platform dedicated to streamlining and supporting the lives and well-being of Registered Behavior Technicians and other behavioral health professionals working closely with Autists (individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder). Idealized as an app, the platform will offer continuous contact with ABA principles; daily encouragement; organizational resources; food for thought; journal prompts; and wellness tasks. Equipped with a habit-tracking component, the main goal of the platform will be to reduce stress and increase self-efficacy in service providers. This mission is intensely important, as RBTs' mental health directly affects the quality of care their clients receive. As an RBT myself, just 5 months away from graduating and that much closer to reaching my goal of becoming a BCBA, I am dedicated to the field; the children we serve; to tending to mental health of clients and service providers; and to the dissemination of knowledge regarding trauma-informed care.
Pattie Harris, MA Psychopharmacology: Master Gardener Certification Program with Inclusion of Indigenous and Cultural Values.
The program highlights permaculture, sustainable gardening, water conservation, and food production for urban youth in San Diego county, California. We are focusing on restoration and improving individual environments with urban/tribal youth who have few prospects for employment. The program highlights honoring elders and traditional Indigenous knowledge. The program emphasizes caring for resources, respect, and responsibility. We will teach marketable skills for students to build self-reliance and personal regenerative wealth. This course includes growing food, conserving resources, and lasts 36 weeks to certify youth in our community with marketable job skills. Incorporation of overall curriculum and learning standards to prepare underserved indigenous youth to pass the California master gardener certification program in addition to our American Native cultural program certification.
Masha Johnson, School Psychology Ed.S.: (Virtual) Homework Help Room Lead
Vanshika Gupta, Applied Behavior Analyis Doctoral Program: (Virtual) Homework Help Room Lead
The Community Builders Inc. - Oakley Square apartments and the Sue Duncan Children's Center work collaboratively with The Chicago School to provide Homework Help Room, a virtual tutoring program, focused on assisting youth, K-8th, with reading skills. The Homework Help Room virtual leads oversee the Zoom space each Tuesday and Thursday during the school year, allowing students and tutors to come together to meet in breakout rooms to address academic deficits and encourage youth on their goals. The Leads are responsible for engaging students and preparing them to join their breakout rooms. They offer fun activities while students wait for their tutors to join.
Stephanie Chan, Applied Behavioral Analysis Doctoral student in Chicago, is developing a comprehensive early piano skills curriculum using CBS for children. She will be creating presentation and work books in collaboration with her partnership with the Society of Behavior SciAnts.
Laith Higazin, Industrial Organization Masters Student in Los Angeles, conducted learning and development consulting to address the mental wellbeing of educators at MSA7. He designed and implemented a virtual wellbeing development program for 31 educators by applying adult learning theories, Clifton Strengths training, and the PERMA model of well-being. He also provided strengths-based leadership coaching to and developed a close relationship with the principal, Meagan Wittek. at MSA7. He will be organizing and executing post-training evaluation of training effectiveness using survey tools in the coming months.
is currently a doctoral candidate in the Applied Behavior Analysis
program where she is working on completing her dissertation. Anusha is
passionate about promoting pro-social behavior through education, and
she applies this passion through her work with the fellowship. Her goal
under the Leader Fellowship is to establish an after-school
instructional clinic where early elementary school students will receive
intensive, individualized academic support. She hopes to start her own
non-profit organization one day that provides services to a given
community in need, and she believes this fellowship experience will help
her develop skills necessary to effectively lead an organization.
Alicia is currently a student in the M.S. Applied Behavior Analysis
program at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology and the
recipient of the 2014-2015 Community Partnerships Leadership Fellowship
with Become, Inc. She received her undergraduate degree from DePaul
University, a university whose mission emphasizes diversity, community
service, and social justice. Alicia feels that these principles are
engrained in her. Both her academic background and her experience
living in different areas of Chicago, witnessing dearth and disparity,
informed her decision to pursue higher education at The Chicago School.
Alicia feels honored and excited to work with Become, Inc. this academic
year because their goal of creating social justice and community change
closely align with her aspirations. She hopes to ultimately create a
positive social impact in marginalized and underserved communities,
optimizing the potential and resources within these communities, and
helping to create social justice and equality of opportunity.
To learn more about past Leader Fellowship projects,