Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between the first and second years of the Fellowship?

The first and second years of the Fellowship are structured to challenge and develop Fellows in their leadership experience.  The first year emphasizes the role of followership as a key skill in leadership development.  The first year professional development curriculum is comprised primarily of classroom-style learning, while the second year focus is on hands-on application of principles and theories learned in the first year. First year fellows serve as staff members for El Pomar programs, which are led and managed by second year Fellows.

How are Fellows assigned to the programs?

Incoming Fellows have the opportunity to express their interests and goals when they arrive, and these preferences are brought into consideration with the staffing needs of various programs.  Fellows are typically assigned to five or six programs in their first year and throughout the Fellowship, every effort is made to align opportunities with Fellows’ interests. Click here to learn more about El Pomar programs.

Do Fellows have the opportunity to work directly for nonprofits?

Fellows do not work directly for other nonprofits, as their primary responsibility is to staff and manage El Pomar's programs.  Fellows do have the opportunity to work on various civic initiatives, projects, and special events in addition to their program responsibilities, and are encouraged to gain additional hands-on experience by serving on local nonprofit boards and supporting local civic projects on a limited basis.  

What is a typical day like?

There is no typical day for a Fellow.  The Fellowship conducts weekly staff meetings on Monday to discuss program work, provide updates, host guest speakers, and give presentations on current events.  Mondays are also dedicated to the professional development curriculum.  Tuesdays are generally designated for program staff meetings, with the remainder of the week dedicated to general programmatic work, travel, and meetings.

How much do Fellows travel?

Fellows travel throughout the state of Colorado for a variety of programs.  As an important part of the Regional Partnerships program, most Fellows are assigned to work in one or two regions and travel for Regional Council meetings and site visits to grant recipients. Regional trips typically take place quarterly, while other travel opportunities vary by program.

What do Fellows typically do after the Fellowship?

Because the Fellowship focuses on leadership skills that are transferable across sectors, alumni go on to make an impact in a wide variety of fields. Our alumni work in the private, public and nonprofit sectors, and many Fellows capitalize on their two years of growth and work experience by continuing their education at top law schools, business schools, and medical schools.

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How many hours a week do Fellows work?

Fellows are expected to work from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Because the Fellowship is a salaried position, they are also expected to work as much as their responsibilities dictate for a given week. Factoring in frequent opportunities to attend special events, required overnight travel, and occasional late-night projects, Fellows typically work a 40 to 50 hour week.

Do Fellows have to live in Colorado Springs?

Living in Colorado Springs is not a requirement.  However, unless out of town for Foundation business, Fellows are expected to report to work each day at the Foundation's office in southwest Colorado Springs.

How are Fellows selected?

Selection for the Fellowship is highly competitive and the result of a rigorous interview and review process.  Candidates should demonstrate strong leadership capability and potential, the ability to work as a member of a team, an interest in public service or civic engagement, and a desire to contribute to the well-being of the people of Colorado.

What experience do Fellows have to have before being selected?

Many Fellows come to El Pomar right after their undergraduate studies in diverse fields such as political science, art history, biology, creative writing, and business administration.  Other Fellows have come to El Pomar after obtaining graduate degrees or after significant work experience.  Each Fellowship class is a unique and outstanding mix of individuals with diverse backgrounds and interests in order to create an effective cohort.

How can I speak with a current Fellow?

Current Fellows are more than happy to speak to interested individuals who want to learn more. These conversations are a perfect opportunity to ask your questions and get a better sense of the Fellowship experience, and can take place over the phone or in-person at the Foundation’s offices.

Set up a conversation by emailing


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