Mandela Washington Fellowship


Empowering girls through English Language Learning

Neither of Brahim Thiam’s parents can read or write. If they could, Thiam would email his mother every morning from the United States, where he has spent the summer studying as a Mandela Washington Fellow. “Despite the fact that my mom isn’t educated, she has always pushed me to get...

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Applying for the Mandela Washington Fellowship: What Not to Do

As the deadline to apply for the 2018 Mandela Washington Fellowship fast approaches, former Fellows offer their advice to this year’s applicants. Many Fellows unsuccessfully applied for years before they were accepted. Here are their top six tips for what not to do: mistakes to avoid while preparing your application....

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Third (or fourth) time’s the charm for these Mandela Washington Fellows

Betel Mekbib has applied for the Mandela Washington Fellowship (MWF) every year since 2014. She was a semifinalist that first year, but was not selected. In 2015 and 2016, she didn’t even reach the interview stage of competition. Christian Fonye also applied unsuccessfully for the Fellowship in 2015 and 2016....

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Applying for the Mandela Washington Fellowship: How do I answer the essay questions?

When you get to the essay questions in your application, don’t see them as a barrier to be overcome. Instead, consider them as an opportunity to tell reviewers about the great things you have been doing and how being a 2018 Mandela Washington Fellow would benefit your community as well...

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Applying for the Mandela Washington Fellowship: What is a ‘proven record of leadership’?

A 2016 Mandela Washington Fellow from Botswana described being a recipient of the fellowship named after the former South African president and initiated by the first African-American president as “mind-blowing.” No doubt many 2018 MWF hopefuls share this sentiment as they finalize their applications (due by October 11!). They may...

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Applying for the Mandela Washington Fellowship: How’s Your English?

Mandela Washington Fellowship (MWF) applicants who come from countries where English is the main language or one of the main languages have a built-in advantage when it comes to meeting the requirement to be proficient in reading, writing and speaking the language. Diane Edea, a 2016 Fellow from Benin, pointed...

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Applying for the Mandela Washington Fellowship: Use the YALI Network!

If you are reading this blog, following the YALI Network Facebook page or the YALI Network Face2Face group, and otherwise taking advantage of YALI’s ability to connect people online and through local events, you have a great advantage as you pursue your quest to be a 2018 Mandela Washington Fellow....

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Applying for the Mandela Washington Fellowship: Which track should I choose?

As a Mandela Washington Fellow, you would learn a lot and meet many useful contacts over the course of six weeks on a U.S. college campus. Looking over the application, you will notice there are three separate tracks or themes of study, and you are asked to “rank the sector/track...

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YALI Voices: A Message to Mandela Washington Fellow Hopefuls, Never Give Up

Fellow African leader, is it true that you have decided not to apply for a 2018Mandela Washington Fellowship (MWF)? That would be a huge mistake! As U.S. senator and 1968 presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy told South Africans in 1966, “Only those who dare to fail greatly can achieve greatly.”...

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Applying to be a Mandela Washington Fellow: Answers from the Experts

Britta Bjornlund and Todd Haskell from the U.S. Department of State answered hundreds of questions about the Mandela Washington Fellowship during a recent #YALCHAT. We have selected some of the most popular questions from YALI Network members to highlight below. Q: How does the Fellowship help me for my future...

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