Mulcahy Fellowship

The American Youth Foundation understands that our organization and the history of summer camps in general exists within an historically white, upper class, and privileged society. We believe everyone deserves the chance to enjoy the outdoor world and have life-changing, positive experiences at summer camp.

The AYF recognizes the value of representation in our camp community leadership and the importance of staff and volunteers who represent the broader diversity of our participant communities. This is the foundation of the Mulcahy Fellowship and why it is so important to the AYF.

History of the Mulcahy Fellowship

The Mulcahy Fellowship was inspired by the in memory of longtime AYF staff member Elizabeth Mulcahy. Elizabeth cared deeply about ensuring equitable access to AYF programs and recognized the importance of representation in our camp communities. Thanks to a generous donation from her father, Pat Mulcahy, the Mulcahy Fellowship continues that vision and helps bring our mission to action.

The AYF launched the Fellowship in 2019 with an inaugural class of five individuals who worked as seasonal summer staff at Merrowvista and Miniwanca.

Class of 2019
Hanine Alhaydar
Bria Earl
Ambrean Ford
Willky Joseph
Salvaryus Partan

What is the Mulcahy Fellowship?
The Fellowship is an initiative to intentionally honor, support, and uplift seasonal staff who identify as historically underrepresented members in AYF program communities (including but not limited to Black/African American, Asian/Asian American/Pacific Islander, Latinx, Indigenous, multiethnic, or LGBTQAI+). The goal is to address the lack of diversity in leadership positions within our programs and recognize that individuals with these identities provide more emotional labor than other camp staff.

The Mulcahy Fellowship grows each year, creating a community whose members lean on each other. The AYF will support this community through annual retreats, coaching opportunities, professional development, and time and space to address areas for change within the AYF.


Mulcahy Fellowship Class of 2022
 Application Guidelines

The application deadline for the Mulcahy Fellowship Class of 2022 has passed.

What’s Involved:

  • Fill a staff role in AYF summer 2022 programming.
  • Participate in the 2023 virtual Fellowship Launch in March, based on availability of Fellows and AYF staff.
  • Participate in Fellowship community Zoom calls after the summer season.
  • Consider being publicly recognized as a Mulcahy Fellow. (Fellows are not required to be publicly listed and may decide to be anonymous outside of the Fellowship cohort.)

What’s Offered

  • Summer Camp: $2,000 financial stipend in addition to seasonal summer pay for hired role.
  • NLC: $500 financial stipend for volunteer staff role.
    • Fellows receive half at the start of staff training and the remaining half after completing their service agreement.
  • Paid travel for June 2023 retreat and additional stipend and virtual winter retreat
  • Year-round updates on AYF DEI efforts and opportunities to engage with Program Directors
  • Lifetime membership in the Mulcahy Fellows community.
  • Fellows may be eligible to renew the award for subsequent summers of employment/volunteerism, up to four years of active Mulcahy Fellows class membership.

Selection Criteria

Applicants will be selected on the basis of:

  • Strong leadership potential, enthusiasm for building community, and motivation to make a positive difference in their own community and the wider world.
  • Willingness to being engaged with and involved with the Mulcahy Fellowship outside of summer months.
  • Identify as a member of a group underrepresented in AYF program staff/volunteer communities (including, but not limited to Black/African American, Asian/Asian American/Pacific Islander, Latinx, Indigenous [Native American, Alaskan, Hawaiian], multiethnic, or LGBTQAI+)

The application deadline for the Mulcahy Fellowship Class of 2022 has passed.