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Diverse Leaders Fellowship at Noble Schools

Applications are now open for this year’s Diverse Leaders Fellowship (DLF) at Noble Schools. DLF is Noble’s longest-running leadership program, having nurtured a village of over 120 fellows and mentors since 2018.

This 9-month-long program is designed to identify and invest in Noble’s emerging, intersectional leaders of color. It also aims to strengthen the educational leadership pipeline within Noble, Chicago, and beyond, and continue to build on our vision for diversity, equity, and inclusion at Noble.

Check out this message from Noble Schools’ Director of Equity, Inclusion & Diversity, D. Nigel Green, about DLF:

DLF will provide a space of connection, visibility, learning, and authenticity to help Noble’s next generation of leaders create a greater impact in their communities. Fellows can expect to participate in a cohort experience — engaging in supplemental professional development, cohort community building, networking opportunities, and one-on-one mentoring.

>> Click here for more information about the Diverse Leaders Fellowship.

To continue to live out our vision of diversity, equity, and inclusion, we need you. Always. We hope you choose to apply.

Applications will close on April 16, 2022 at 11:59 p.m.

If you are a Noble employee that identifies as a person of color, apply now:

APPLY NOW

If you’re interested in learning more about the Diverse Leaders Fellowship, read about what the experience was like for these past participants:

Emmanuel Jackson, Muchin College Prep

What is one memory that stands out to you from your time in DLF?

One of the biggest ways DLF stands out to me is through the opening ice breaker we participated in. The objective was to choose from a variety of photos, and we were to discuss how that photo related to us specifically as a leader. I didn’t get the photo I initially wanted, which was of a butterfly coming out of a cocoon, because someone else chose it. However, the photo I ended up picking was of Michael Jordan, gliding from the free-throw line in the 1988 NBA Slam Dunk Contest. That photo really resonated with me because Michael Jordan, in my mind, is the greatest basketball player of all time (GOAT). When I saw that picture, it reminded me that I didn’t necessarily have to be the GOAT in my career field, but that I did need to be the best that I could be as a leader, teacher, counselor, friend every single day. After that first DLF session, I let that picture be the thing that motivated me throughout the year, particularly with that year being my first time leading adults. To this day, that picture hangs on my wall as a reminder for me to be my best self day in & day out so that I am impacting others and leaving my mark on the world in the way Michael Jordan did and continues to do so in our world today.

How has DLF impacted the way you lead today?

The most important way DLF has impacted how I lead is by teaching me the importance of being my most authentic self. DLF reminded me that, as people of color, we are often told to dumb ourselves down or assimilate so we don’t make white people feel uncomfortable or so we can fit into the box they impose upon us. DLF reminded me of the value of staying true to who I am and leading with that mentality. I was also fortunate to have a place where I could put leading authentically into practice, at Muchin College Prep. Having the freedom to lead as I am, without sacrificing important parts of my identity, has been paramount for me because it took the pressure off for me to be a certain way. It also helped me relate better to the team I was in charge of. DLF also emphasized the importance of taking care of yourself and doing the self-work to be the best leader possible. It reminded me of the importance of reflecting daily so I can be a leader who is great. The experience also taught me how vital it is to practice self-care and make time for myself to heal & rejuvenate.

What skills and opportunities were you able to gain in DLF that you might not have gained otherwise?

My DLF experience provided me with opportunities to put the skills I learned into practice. It also showed me how my authentic leadership style resonated with others in a way that allowed people to feel seen, heard, encouraged, and inspired them to act. The intersection of DLF and leading my team also helped me realize there was power in utilizing my voice for positive change. It motivated me to make my voice heard more regularly and gave me the confidence to make meaningful contributions to my environments. For example, at Muchin, I participated in a process that helped revise and strengthen our core value behaviors. These revisions were then implemented into the hiring of team members and gave clarity on what qualities a Muchin Mountain Lion should exhibit.

Being part of DLF and working with D. Nigel Green (Director of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion at Noble Schools) also taught me the importance of leading without a title. It reminded me that I don’t have to lead in an official capacity to leave my mark and be a catalyst. As a result, I felt confident in working with other Noble team members on the Black Scholar Experience Working Group. I also worked on our team’s “Into the Future Think Tank” this past summer, to plan for our smooth transition into the building. Lastly, DLF brought opportunities for me to hear from people in various sectors who provided knowledge that I previously didn’t have. One example of this is being introduced to Paul Morgan of Northwestern Mutual. His presentation and assistance expanded my financial knowledge and helped me be in a better financial position to help my family both now and in the future. I’m appreciative of all the opportunities DLF provided. It has helped shape me into the leader and person I am today.

Joshua Sosa, Pritzker College Prep

What is one memory that stands out to you from your time in DLF?

My favorite memory of the program has to be the time we spent together at our retreat. It was nice to be in community with everyone. I had the opportunity to deepen some relationships.

How has DLF impacted the way you lead today?

DLF helped foster a sense of confidence in me that I didn’t know existed. Now, I do not shy away from opportunities that allow me to share my voice and do the necessary work.

What skills and opportunities were you able to gain in DLF that you might not have gained otherwise?

The tools needed to navigate Noble (both network and campus-wide). I feel more comfortable reaching out to folx when I have comments or questions.

Jacob Goldstein, Chicago Bulls College Prep

What is one memory that stands out to you from your time in DLF?

One memory that sticks out to me is the opportunity that I had to shadow our CEO, Constance Jones, for the day. Going into the day, I was nervous, to say the least, but almost immediately, she made me feel welcomed and was open and honest with me about all the ins-and-outs that go into her day. I had the opportunity to sit in on some of her meetings and watch her work. It was such a different experience than my normal day-to-day at Bulls Prep, and it really allowed me to see how much work goes into ensuring our schools have the resources they need every single day. I remember feeling honored that CJ took the time out of her busy schedule to allow me that opportunity and seeing her leadership that day shaped my own thought process in approaching the work I do.

How has DLF impacted the way you lead today?

Throughout the course of the DLF program, I had an amazing mentor, D. Nigel Green, who worked closely with me on finding my voice as a leader. I had so many ideas and thoughts about my school and our organization. During our time together, D always pushed me to be open and honest with him about what I was seeing daily on our campus. In those many conversations with him, I was able to have someone give me direct feedback on approaching critical conversations at my school, how to be a better leader based on his own past experiences, and even had the opportunity to shadow him while he was at Muchin to see him in action. He inspired me and pushed me to not only be a better leader but to think through how I can use my skills to expand my experience at my school and within education. His example as a strong Black leader in our organization pushed me to want to be the same for not only our students, but our staff as well.

What skills and opportunities were you able to gain in DLF that you might not have gained otherwise?

I think that, first and foremost, the DLF program established a network of individuals who I know that I can turn to if I need support, have a question, or want to talk through ideas or issues that I am seeing at the campus level and need an outside perspective. While I have this at my campus, it’s important to be able to venture outside of my school to get a fresh perspective as well. Additionally, the DLF program pushed me to want to pursue other leadership opportunities. I applied for and was selected for the Noble Fellowship Program, which was Noble’s Principal pathway program, which helped guide my thinking around one day becoming a Noble principal, potentially. While I am still working through how I want my career in education to develop long-term, ultimately, the DLF program helped to push my self-reflection about being a Black leader in education. It placed me in a room of amazing leaders who helped me develop and grow as an individual. It allowed me to learn from some of our organization’s best leaders at how they approach this work and how I can bring my most authentic self to work each day to be a better leader and person.

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