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Mandela Washington Fellowship

Mandela Washington Fellows standing outside

The 2018 Fellows at the Salvation Army in West Philadelphia

For the fourth year in a row, Drexel University has been selected as an Institute Partner for the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders. Due to COVID-19, the 2020 Fellowship has been postponed until 2021, at which point Goodwin College of Professional Studies and Office of Global Engagement and Education Abroad will host 28 of Africa’s brightest Civic Engagement leaders for a six-week Leadership Institute, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. 

The Mandela Washington Fellowship, the flagship program of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), empowers young African leaders through academic coursework, leadership training, mentoring, networking, professional opportunities and local community engagement.

During their time on campus, these scholars have the opportunity to experience Drexel’s renowned experiential education through site visits, collaborative projects, and partnership development with local organizations. By taking part in service projects on campus and across the City of Philadelphia, the Fellows will also join President John Fry’s mission to make Drexel "the most civically engaged university in the United States, across all three dimensions of engagement: academic, student and employee voluntarism, and institutionally supported neighborhood investment."

News & Events

Adam Zahn, Associate Director of Global Engagement and Strategic Initiatives at Drexel reflects on his Reciprocal Exchange experience in Cameroon. 

Hear from Academic Director Anne Converse Willkomm about her experience with Drexel's 2019 Mandela Fellows.

Read Goldman Sachs career blog on their experience with the 2019 Mandela Washington Fellows.

Watch an inspiring video about Tshepo Nkabu and his organization Hands of Life Cycling.


Sign up for the Mandela Washington Fellowship newsletter to stay updated on the latest news, events, and what the Fellows are working on, as well as opportunities to get involved. 

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View Previous Mandela Newsletters

April 2019 - "Drexel Mandela Alumni on CNN, volunteer opportunities and more!"

May 2019 - "Fellow arrival dates, volunteer opportunities and more!"

June 2019 - "Warm welcome from Academic Director of the Mandela Washington Fellowship"

June 2019, Week 1 - "The Fellows have arrived, week one events and more!"

July 2019, Week 2 - "Theme: Communication"

July 2019, Week 3 - "Theme: Relationship Building and Networking"

July 2019, Week 4 - "Theme: Cooperation and Consensus Building and Influence"

July 2019, Week 5 - "Theme: Empowering Others"

July 2019, Week 6 - "Theme: Being a Change Leader"

August 2019, Week 7 - "The Mandela Washington Fellowship at Drexel wraps up"

August 2019, Week 8 - "Giving thanks and Drexel Fellow presents at Mandela Washington Summit"

View Previous Alumni Mandela Newsletters

May 2020 - "Mandela Fellows respond to COVID-19 and more"

October 2019 - "Welcome announcement, Fellow Mandela alumni recognition and more"

December 2019 - "Holiday Greeting from Drexel Staff"

Get social

Connect with the Mandela Washington Fellows on social media by following #YALI2019 and #MandelaFellows.

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