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Davenport Institute and Stand Together Collaborate for Student Professional Growth

students listening to Lee Simmons

On January 17, 2024, the Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership at the Pepperdine School of Public Policy (SPP), in partnership with the SPP International City/County Management student chapter, hosted Lee Taylor Simmons from Stand Together Fellowships to speak to students about their organization and the work they do to connect college students and young professionals with career advancement opportunities. 

Stand Together connects young people with work opportunities ranging from a 10-week internship program to full-year fellowships. Their philosophy opposes the idea, one which consumed much of history, that change and decisions only happen from the top down, from elites to the general population. Rather, Stand Together emphasizes and promotes an alternative point of view that was first offered in 1776 with the Declaration of Independence. The organization believes this moment was "an incredible bet on people, that every individual has something to contribute. [ . . . ] Progress comes when we invest in every individual and allow them to make their greatest contribution.” Similarly, Stand Together believes in investing in people through education and work opportunities.

Simmons told SPP students they could apply to the foundation, and if accepted, they would be added to a network portal with partnered think tanks, media groups, and grassroots nonprofits with job postings. From there, students may apply to the different groups, and upon acceptance, Stand Together pays the stipends for the students. She highlighted the community of the Stand Together fellowships, including one day a week of professional development with Stand Together staff. They want participants to feel and be a part of a broader community of professionals who support one another.

Students inquired about the scope of partner organizations, what the top interests of applicants are, and spoke with Simmons individually about further opportunities.