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The Urban Fellows Program

The Urban Initiative is currently in the process of integrating a research component to evaluate the success of its efforts, refine its programs, and develop new methodologies for training students as the initiative matures. This research will take shape through the Urban Fellows program, which includes several key strategies lined out below:

  • Expose participants to the realities of urban environments in order to understand the damaging impacts of poverty
  • Encourage participants to examine the preconceptions – both positive and negative – that might influence how graduate students approach their work with urban residents
  • Broaden participant understanding of the complex interplay of economic, educational, familial, and cultural issues, and the impact of those issues on their capacity to provide quality service

Fellows learn about common education and mental health issues that appear in urban settings, successful intervention methods, family dynamics, working with public and private agencies, and community building.

Fellows in GSEP's education programs work in diverse settings, including Los Angeles Unified School District charter schools and high schools, middle schools, and elementary schools in Southeast Los Angeles. The Urban Fellows Grant has been introduced and can be awarded to Psychology and Education students who are doing a practicum or clinical experience in an underserved community.

Fellows in GSEP's psychology programs work with Job Corps, a federally-mandated program administered in Los Angeles by the Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA); Hope Gardens, a transitional facility for women and children in Sylmar, California and an extension of the Union Rescue Mission, a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving the poor and homeless of Los Angeles; and the Orange County Rescue Mission in Tustin, California.

Urban Initiative 2.0 Pledge

I pledge to take responsibility for the impact of my community engagement and to try to improve its condition through the Urban Initiative and any organizations with which I work or volunteer.

In the spirit of justice and love towards my neighbors and the broader society, I will bring the full reach of my time, talent, and treasure to the cause of transforming our shared community into a place where dignity, equity, and opportunity is afforded to all.

Take the Pledge, join the GSEP Urban Initiative 2.0