Think Bigger. That’s the mantra behind the Bush Fellowship Program. It’s a mantra that challenges individuals across our region to question, “Who do I want to be?” and creates a sky’s-the-limit mindset for unlocking otherwise unattainable opportunities. With an impressive history of $82 million of investments in the Bush Fellowship Program, Jennifer Ford Reedy, president of the Bush Foundation, shared with Pollen a few answers to what makes a great Fellow—and when individual investments ranging up to $100,000 are on the line, it might be comforting, or terrifying, to know the answer has little to do with ideas, concepts, or projects… and almost entirely to do with you. Just plain you. Applications are due Monday, October 14th.
What is unique about the Bush Fellowship?
The weird thing about the Bush Fellowship is that it is extremely flexible. It is what you create it to be. The Fellowship exists for you as an individual, to develop your leadership skills. We need to see that you’ve been able to make the most of what you’ve been given. I hope that the process of thinking about applying causes applicants to do a lot of self reflection, but then also test ideas with others—have people think with you about where you are now and how you'll get to where you want to go.
How do leaders change under the Bush Fellowship?
It’s very common for people to expand the ambition for their life while a Bush Fellow. It’s stunningly consistent how often Bush Fellows say that it made them think differently about their life. It has made people think bigger about what's possible.
How can the Bush Fellowship change a community?
A focus on the individual can change a community. Any issue area the Bush Foundation cares about in this region fundamentally requires that we have passionate, talented people making it happen. When you focus on leadership, you can make an impact on an endless number of issues.