Mulcahy Fellowship

The American Youth Foundation believes everyone is responsible for building equitable community. The AYF leadership team recognizes that the organization exists within an historically white, upper class, privileged setting, and the AYF needs to reduce barriers that prevent full participation from staff and volunteers who represent the racial and broader diversity of our participant communities. The Mulcahy Fellowship is one step toward that goal.

History of the Mulcahy Fellowship

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

What is the Mulcahy Fellowship?

The Fellowship is an honor awarded to outstanding seasonal staff members who are also members of a group that is underrepresented in AYF program communities (including but not limited to Black/African American, Asian/Asian American/Pacific Islander, Latinx, Indigenous, multiethnic, LGBTQAI+) or those who face economic barriers to participation. These individuals must exhibit strong leadership potential, enthusiasm, and motivation to make a positive difference in our communities and the world.

The Mulcahy Fellowship is a growing initiative. The AYF hopes its early members will help lay the groundwork for what this Fellowship should be and how it can best support current and future Fellows. The AYF recognizes the Fellows’ lived experiences bring valuable critical perspective to the organization. The Mulcahy Fellows will help the AYF leadership create a more equitable camp community representative of wider world that truly reflects the values of the organization.

The Mulcahy Fellowship is also a community in its own right. The AYF hopes this community will look to its members for guidance, friendship, and support year-round as they continue to make a positive difference in the world. The AYF will offer off-season retreats, professional and educational coaching opportunities, and other events to facilitate connection as the community grows each year.

Fellows are compensated for their work with an annual stipend in addition to their seasonal summer pay, and all travel expenses to Fellowship-related events are covered by the AYF.

If this opportunity sounds like a good fit, we encourage you to apply for the 2021 Mulcahy Fellowship.

Mulcahy Fellowship Class of 2021
 Application Guidelines

What’s Involved:

  • Fill a staff role in AYF summer 2021 programming.
  • Participate in one Fellowship Launch Zoom call in June, based on availability of Fellows and AYF staff.
  • Participate in one or two mid-season Fellowship community Zoom calls.
  • Participate in one day-long retreat in the fall 2021. This retreat may be virtual or may take place in person. The AYF will decide which format by August.
  • 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:

  • $2,000 financial stipend
    • Fellows receive half at the start of staff training and the remaining half after completing their service agreement.
  • $200 fall retreat day financial stipend
    • Stipend will be paid regardless whether the retreat is in person or virtual.
    • The AYF will pay all associated travel costs if the retreat is in person.
  • Year-round professional and educational coaching opportunities.
  • Lifetime membership in the Mulcahy Fellows community.
  • Fellows may be eligible to renew the award for subsequent summers of employment/volunteerism; up to three years of active Mulcahy Fellows class membership.

Selection Criteria

Applicants will be selected on the basis of:

  • Strong leadership potential, enthusiasm, and motivation to make a positive difference in our communities and the wider world.
  • 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, LGBTQAI+).
  • Nomination by an AYF supervisor, leader, or hiring manager

How to Apply

Mulcahy Fellowship applications are due by June 1, 2021. If you have questions or require a paper application, please email or

Apply online