The Fellowship Initiative's mission is to help young men acquire the skills, knowledge, experience, networks, and other resources they need to succeed academically and professionally. TFI provides comprehensive and hands-on academic, social and emotional support to young men of color in high school. TFI’s core programming extends over three years. Fellows graduate from the program better prepared for personal and professional success.
We welcome applications from male students of color, currently enrolled in the 9th grade as of the 2022-2023 academic year who:
Hold a minimum weighted GPA of 2.5
Are on track to complete their Texas State Academic Credits by Spring 2026
Commit to active participation in the program for 3 Saturdays a month and 3 weeks during the summer, for 2 years
Demonstrate commitment to attend and participate in all TFI programming
Express the willingness to learn in a space that celebrates racial/ethnic, cultural, religious and economic diversity and is committed to the inclusion and respect of all family structures, sexual and gender identities
Have a desire to grow personally and with a team
TFI PARTICIPANT BENEFITS
TFI leaders and staff respect the level of investment that each Fellow must commit to.
In return, TFI Fellows receive:
Four dedicated staff members available to Fellows during and after programming
Individual Mentors from professional community
Therapy and Counseling services
College Advising and Application Support
Beach Days, Waterparks, Sporting Events, Performances, Movie Nights & more!
Full Business Suit, Professional Attire and Grooming Supplies
Laptop Computer and Accessories
Breakfast and Lunch during Saturday Sessions
SAT Prep Course
In the world of finance, leaders often make decisions by calculating the ROI, or return on investment. Every action, commitment, or choice requires an investment--time, money, effort, resources--that will lead to some kind of benefit--enjoyment, advancement, wealth, satisfaction.
This idea is not just useful in business; ROI can be a way of recognizing the true cost of a decision, as well as identifying the potential benefits that may result. Participation in The Fellowship Initiative is a major commitment for a young person to make. DiscoverU encourages candidates and their caretakers to seriously consider the program requirements before applying.
TFI Fellows must invest:
The Fellowship Initiative is a THREE-YEAR commitment. Fellows join in their sophomore year and continue in the program until they graduate from high school. While no one knows what the future holds (thanks 2020 for teaching us that lesson over and over again!), Fellows must be prepared to make a long-term commitment to the program.
TFI Fellows attend Saturday Sessions during the school year (September-May). The Saturday Sessions occur 2-3 times a month and last for 6-8 hours at a time. Saturday Sessions will be virtual for Spring 2021, but will transition to in person as soon as it is safe to do so.
Fellows complete two enrichment experiences during each summer. One experience will be a group trip--camping, community service, or even international travel--with your TFI brothers. The other will be an experience of your own choosing--a camp, trip, or job that aligns with your personal interests and goals.
Attendance at Saturday Sessions, Summer Experiences, and other TFI events requires self-discipline: waking up and getting out of the house on time; arranging transportation; arriving prepared and with a positive attitude.
TFI programming is designed to challenge Fellows intellectually, socially, emotionally, morally, and, at times, physically. We don’t expect you to do everything perfectly the first time, but we do ask you to try your best at all times. Caretakers should expect to engage with TFI staff and programming when asked to do so.
At least twice a month, TFI staff will reach out to caretakers to provide updates on Fellows’ progress and gather information that will allow them to better serve all participants. Legal guardians will need to review important program documents and forms, then sign and return them in a timely fashion.
TFI Fellows will be selected from across the Houston area; there is a good chance you will not know the other Fellows before joining. Program leaders will provide ample opportunities for relationship building among the Fellows, but it is up to you to keep an open mind and assume the best of everyone you meet in the program.
Building relationships with new Fellows will not be among the most foreign interactions that you have as a TFI Fellow. Networking with mentors from JP Morgan Chase, guest speakers, and outside partners will be an aspect of the program that students will be pushed towards. In these instances, you must be brave enough to commit to self-improvement, community-building, and becoming a leader.
TFI Fellows will experience embarrassment, awkwardness, “bad days,” frustration, boredom, conflict, apathy, and other uncomfortable emotions. Brave men work through hardship and lean on others for support.
TFI Fellows are brave men.