Changemaker Fellowship


Funded by David A. Katz and Cecilia T. Absher, the Changemaker Fellowship identifies and supports exceptionally talented and dedicated undergraduates who are committed to addressing issues of economic and/or racial inequality through a summer internship experience. This Fellowship supports those students’ career and leadership development by providing them with professional development, mentoring, and networking opportunities in addition to financial support. Through a rigorous application and selection process, the Changemaker Fellowship awards grants of $5,000 each to up to 16 students working in unpaid summer internships focused on addressing issues of inequality.

Learn More

Hear from past fellows on their experience and how this fellowship can support your professional development.



The Changemaker Fellowship provides financial support and programming aimed at developing students’ leadership capacity and supporting their career development. Students must meet all of the following criteria to be eligible to apply:

  • Currently enrolled NYU New York undergraduate students graduating January 2022 or later (you do not need to be taking classes during the 2021 summer sesion to apply)
    • NYU Abu Dhabi and NYU Shanghai are not eligible to apply.
  • In good academic standing with your school, and subject to a conduct review.
  • Working in an unpaid internship addressing issues of economic and/or racial inequality full-time (35+ hours/week) or part-time (20+hours/week) for at least 10 weeks between May 2021 and September 2021 (see FAQ for more information)
  • Available for the following required programming:
    • Fellowship Orientation (June 4)
    • Coaching (2-3 hours during the summer)
    • Leadership Retreat (September 17)
  • Note: Students engaged in internships that provide compensation equal to minimum wage or more are not eligible.

Changemaker Fellows will be selected according the following criteria:

  • Demonstrated commitment to issues of inequality based on prior service, leadership, coursework, or work experiences
  • Established commitment or demonstrated interest in developing their service leadership capacities
  • Articulated connections across learning objectives for the internship and professional goals based on short answer questions
  • Demonstrated financial need

Students who identify as members of “first-gen,” racially under-represented, or otherwise minoritized groups are strongly encouraged to apply.

How to Apply

To apply to the Changemaker Fellowship, please complete and submit all required materials to the application by April 30, 2021. The application requires that you upload the following documents:

Dates and Deadlines

  • Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until April 30.
  • Recipients of the award will be notified at the end of May.
  • Awards will be disbursed in two payments: 1) during the first week of July 2021 or after 80 hours of work at the awardee's internship (whichever is later), and 2) upon completion of the internship.

Short Answer Questions

The short answer portion is one of the most important components of the review process, so make sure to be detailed and thoughtful in your responses. Each answer should be no more than 300 words.

  • What do you hope to learn or develop in this internship, and how will your responsibilities in this role help you accomplish that?
  • What motivates you to pursue work on issues of inequality? How will this internship enable you to explore these motivations and the specific issue(s) that are of most interest to you? What is the contribution you envision making towards the issue(s) you described?
  • In what specific ways will you benefit from receiving this grant? Are there any other financial considerations we should be aware of in considering your application?

Award Decisions

  • Regrettably, we cannot provide feedback on unsuccessful applications. All decisions of the selection committee are final.
  • Incomplete applications or applicants who do not meet eligibility guidelines will not be considered.
  • If you apply and are selected for an award, you cannot change internships and still retain your award. Award decisions are based on funding students for specific opportunities and cannot be transferred to new positions.
  • Awardees who do not successfully complete their internships may forfeit some/all of their grant.

Tax Considerations

  • The Changemaker Fellowship is awarded directly to the recipient. It is not affiliated with Federal Work Study or Financial Aid packages.
  • Under Internal Revenue Service regulations, the University is not required to report scholarship or fellowship awards as income, except for foreign students who are covered under separate tax regulations. It is the student’s responsibility to report any taxable amounts on his or her tax return and maintains records to support expenditures for tuition, fees, books, and other course-related equipment or supplies.
  • US citizens: You will not receive any tax related documentation at the end of the year. Please view this tax letter from the NYU Tax Director for more information on reporting your stipend.
  • International students: Taxes will be taken on the stipend when it is issued. Learn more from the IRS (PDF).  

Visa Considerations

  • Students attending NYU in F-1 or J-1 status are eligible to apply as long as they fulfill all other requirements for the grant and for maintaining their immigration status. Please contact OGS to learn more about authorization for unpaid internships and volunteer work.


Profiles of Past Fellows


Class of 2022
School: Global Liberal Studies
Internship: USC Shoah Foundation


Class of 2021
School: Gallatin School of Individualized Study
Internship: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ Regional Office for Southern Latin America


Class of 2021
School: Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, & Human Development
Internship: Breakthrough New York


Class of 2022
School: Gallatin School of Individualized Study
Internship: Office of Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz