The Hilliard P. Jenkins Fellowship (HPJ Fellowship) is a summer program that allows undergraduate students to take part in the work and efforts of Frontline Solutions. For this “Where are they now?” series, past Fellows look back on their summer experience and share what they have been up to since their time as a Fellow.
Seth Rose is a Senior at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill majoring in Political Science and minoring in Education. Seth is strongly interested in poverty and policy in the United States. Looking into anti-poverty initiatives, he examined The Harlem Children’s Zone in an extensive policy brief highlighting the organization’s strategy to eradicate poverty among children. Seth also served as head editor of Talking Sidewalks Literary Magazine featuring writing and artwork by individuals who experienced poverty and homelessness. He was also an advocate at the Community Empowerment Funds helping unemployed individuals gain access to capital and financial resources. In the summer of 2013 he served as an HPJ Fellow.
What attracted you to the Fellowship?
The work and interests of Frontline aligned with the questions I was asking myself and the interest areas I was looking into- particularly with regard to men of color issues. I was interested in Frontline and they did that work in the real life.
What part of the job did you find most fulfilling?
I really enjoyed the conferences I went to. I went to A Gathering of Leaders and I enjoyed seeing and listening to folks who have been doing this work for a long time. The other gathering I went to was of leaders of faith and it was beautiful to see how people channel their faith into social justice work. The people I talked to at that conference were brilliant and fascinating.
What have you been up to since the fellowship?
I studied abroad in Chile during my spring semester, worked as a teacher through Breakthrough Collaborative, and this year I started writing a column about social justice and racial issues for the Daily Tar Heel.
How did the fellowship influence the work you do now/the work you want to do in the future?
I wouldn’t have known what it meant to do foundation work. FLS gave me an eye into that world of social change and it gave me confidence in terms of being able to do what I believe in and do it well.
What professional experience were you able to gain?
Maneuvering through interactions with people. I had never been in a professional environment before and this was my chance to interact with people like Micah, Marcus, and Ryan. That was a big thing for me- understanding how that worked. Other than that, I did a good amount of writing and that will absolutely serve me in whatever professional career. It was mostly subtle things- influence, and values, and subtle observation.