Have you ever sat down to tea with an old friend? Can you see their face and remember the feeling of familiarity and comfort you shared? One of my favorite things about these moments is the feeling that I don’t need to explain anything to them, they just get me. They know my history, they’ve seen me grow and change, and because of this they easily understand why whatever is happening in my life matters.
One of the hard things about applying for a Bush Fellowship is that you are writing your application for folks who don’t know you. They won’t just “get you” in the way that a friend or a family member does. The building blocks that shape our individual journeys aren’t generally visible; they don’t show up like Legos. Your written application is your opportunity to help us understand how the significant moments in your life set the course for who you are today.
Each Bush Fellow is truly unique, from the background that shaped them to the hopes they hold for their future. The things they have in common are an extraordinary track record of success, a vision to make large-scale changes in their community and a plan for their individual development. While these elements of our selection criteria are listed individually, each one cannot exist without the others. It’s important to make your “building blocks” visible through your application. Share how your record of accomplishments informs what you dream of doing in the future. In other words, help us understand how the moments that matter to you shape your story.
In your Fellowship application, can you paint the picture of your vision that is built on where you have been and leads to where you hope to go? Can you share clearly and concisely how you are prepared to help lead the changes you want to see in your community?
Being grounded in who you are and how you lead is an important part of leadership. If you are intrigued by these questions and are thinking about the Fellowship, now might be the time to apply. I encourage you to believe in yourself and learn more about becoming a Bush Fellow.