The Open Society Foundations have announced the launch of a fellowship program aimed at developing a pipeline of next-gen leaders for Puerto Rico, which was devastated by Hurricane Maria a year ago.
Through the new Puerto Rico Youth Fellowships program, successful candidates will receive one-year grants of up to $35,000 in support of projects that address human rights challenges in the areas of health, housing, education, immigration, workers’ rights, LGBTQI rights, criminal justice, and food and environmental justice. Applicants will be encouraged to consider a range of strategies for advancing their ideas, including grassroots organizing, public education, strategic communications, policy advocacy, and coalition building.
The program is open to Puerto Ricans between the ages of 18 and 27 who have a project proposal focused on human rights and underserved communities on the island.
"After the hurricane hit, we saw a surge of civic participation and engagement, particularly among young people eager to step up and help rebuild their homes, their neighborhoods, and their communities," said Karina Claudio Betancourt, program officer for the Puerto Rico Project at OSF. "Be it through comedores sociales, sustainable agriculture projects, or arts and photography projects, youth have been at the forefront of the community-led rebuilding and reimagining process. With this program, we hope to help encourage activists to reimagine the future of the island through economic, social, and cultural change projects that can help create more resilient and self-sustaining communities all across the island."
(Photo credit: Open Society Foundations)