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A Rare Opportunity to Build a Social Enterprise, Leadership and Your Community

Two years ago, I learned about an amazing, one-of-a-kind opportunity called the Initiators Fellowship, which is a partnership of West Central Initiative, the Northwest Minnesota Foundation, the Central Minnesota Initiative Foundation, and the Southwest Initiative Foundation.

I learned about it late in the process, and I applied anyway. A few months later I was selected to receive one of the seven Fellowships from among 80 applicants.

The Fellowship is designed to assist early-stage social entrepreneurs for two years by providing financial, educational, and professional network support. I feel so blessed to have been selected and, despite all the craziness of this past year, I feel like it has helped me grow the youth empowerment nonprofit I founded called P’s and Q’s Etiquette.

P’s and Q’s exists to help marginalized and disadvantaged youth in the Moorhead-Fargo area find their voice and power by developing the skills, knowledge, and connections to be the leaders they were born to be. The Initiators Fellowship has provided me high-level business and leadership training, a professional mentor, connection to all kinds of resources, and $30,000 a year of financial support so I’ve had the space to focus on developing my nonprofit and my local leadership.

When anyone with a good idea and passion for a cause asks me if they should apply for the Fellowship, I tell them to go for it! I have learned so much, developed my leadership, new friends, and professional colleagues who support what I am doing.

I think our local youth and our entire community benefit from my involvement in this program. So, check out the Initiators Fellowship website at greaterminnesota.net/fellows, take the eligibility quiz, and apply if you are eligible.

You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Take it from me!

Rachel Stone, P’s and Q’s, 2020-2021 Initiator Fellow

Editor's Note: The Fellowship is now accepting applications through June 15 for the 2022-2023 Cohort. Learn more about P’s and Q’s Etiquette on the website.