Between 2012 and 2016, the ZOOM Public Policy Fellowship provided a year-long action-oriented learning opportunity through which emerging leaders were provided exceptional access and support, empowering them to contribute meaningfully to Connecticut’s public policy. During the program, Fellows expanded their personal networks, bettered their understanding of the functions of government, completed meaningful public sector projects, and gained leadership skills transferable to future roles.

The Fellowship was supported by The ZOOM Foundation and delivered in partnership with the Office of the Governor and Connecticut municipalities.

During the year-long experience, ZOOM Fellows engaged in two complementary program components: an action learning placement with a host government office and leadership development programming.

Action Learning Placement

Selected by state and municipal government offices, ZOOM Fellows worked on projects addressing public policy issues.  Fellows performed a range of critical functions, from researching key legislation, to serving as intermediaries between agencies, to leading a variety of special projects.  For example, Fellow projects included:

  • Identifying policies that reduce childhood illness caused by pesticides, and protect bees, which play a critical role in healthy food systems and the overall ecosystem
  • Supporting the launch of  innovative education models in which students master the academic, technical and workplace skills necessary to enter entry-level jobs in STEM industries or continue their education in four-year institutions.
  • Managing grant applications to expand the SNAP (Food Stamps) Employment and Training programs in Connecticut and drafting a report to the Intellectual and Developmental Disability Working Group to improve state services for people with disabilities.

​Leadership Development Programming

Concurrent with the action learning placement, ZOOM Fellows received robust leadership development programming delivered by The ZOOM Foundation.  Highlights of the program included: 

  • Mentorship: Each Fellow was assigned a volunteer public policy mentor to support the Fellow with professional advice and role modeling.
  • Leadership Coaching: Each Fellow engaged in intensive individual coaching focused on the achievement of their leadership goals.
  • Development Workshops: Each Fellow participated in progressive leadership development sessions that aimed to provide a framework for understanding and improving individual leadership.