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TFI’s design and approach reflect the principles of positive youth development, applying these principles to the particular challenges and barriers facing young men of color.  During each TFI program year, a team of staff, mentors, and partners delivers a diverse array of out-of-school activities and supports (including academic enrichment and skill development, college guidance and preparation, and professional and leadership development) all explicitly aimed at helping fellows complete high school, persist in college, and succeed in their subsequent careers.
 
TFI’s asset-based approach emphasizes skill building, socioemotional health, and personal development in key areas that contribute to academic success including planning and goal setting, decision making, collaboration, communication, self-awareness, and accountability. This is achieved through ongoing coaching from the program managers and mentors, as well as structured peer learning and supportive experiences.

TFI PARTICIPANT BENEFITS

TFI leaders and staff respect the level of investment that each Fellow must commit to.  In return, TFI Fellows receive:

SUPPORT

OPPORTUNITIES

RESOURCES

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​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

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College Visits

Wilderness Expeditions

International Travel

Career Immersion

Fun!

Beach Days, Waterparks, Sporting Events, Performances, Movie Nights & more!

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Full Business Suit, Professional Attire and Grooming Supplies

Laptop Computer and Accessories

TFI-branded gear

Breakfast and Lunch during Saturday Sessions

SAT Prep Course

PROGRAM COMMITMENTS

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:

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TIME

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EFFORT

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HEART

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.

It seems weird to say, but The Fellowship Initiative requires bravery on the part of participants. 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.

TFI matches high school Fellows with JPMorgan Chase employees, who serve as mentors, to receive coaching, academic support and leadership development that prepares them for college and career success.