- Name: Stanley Stewart
- Year: 2016
- Concentration: History
1. What type of fellowship/research experiences have you been involved with during your time in college?
In 2014, I was awarded a Social innovation Fellowship through the Swearer Center for Public Service for my work in co-founding 1vyG – the inter-ivy, first-generation college student network.
2. How did you find out about this opportunity/these opportunities?
The Social Innovation Fellowship hosts information sessions a few months prior to the application deadline. After talking about the idea of starting a conference for first-generation students with a group of friends, 3 of us decided to apply to the Social Innovation Fellowship as a way to receive feedback about our idea, mentorship, and financial support to try and make it happen. I highly recommend reading Morning Mail, signing up for listervs for various centers on campus, and talking to older students who are doing cool things as great ways to stay up to date about the many opportunities that exist at Brown.
3. What is your favorite part about being involved the Social Innovation Fellowship?
The community. Part of this describes learning and growing with my co-founders, Jessica Brown ’16 and Manuel Contreras ’16 over the course of a year through many brainstorming sessions, business plans, mentorship meetings and more. The other half refers to the amazing community of fellows doing amazing work who I have been so lucky to learn from and work with. Not only do I have lifelong connections and friendships with folks from my cohort, but the SIF fellowship is structured in such a way that you’re guaranteed to make connections with past and future fellows as well. Also, I would be no where without the support of all the folks in Swearer! Not every venture will succeed in the ways you may hoped or anticipated, but the learning you develop from the process will last with you for a lifetime.
4. How has being involved with this experience shaped your future goals and plans?
I have gained so many more hard skills. I know how to think strategically, plan, implement, organize and run effective meetings, how to actually network with individuals, and have developed critical tools to help me think about metrics and outcomes for change. I am also so much more confident in myself and comfortable in the unknown. Entrepreneurship is all about being willing to take a risk and see how things work, then make adjustments as you go. I can confidently say that as a result of my fellowship experience that I have gained to the tools – both personally and professionally – to make change happen.
5. Any advice for students looking to apply for research/fellowships?
Just go for it. I know so many amazing students with ideas or simply notions of problems in society that they want to change, but who never act upon it. There are so many resources at a place like Brown. Don’t be afraid. I never thought that I was the type of person who apply to, much less succeed as a social entrepreneur. You have be willing to take the risk on yourself and your ideas in order to change the world. You can do it!