Launching the True Blue Fellowship!
May 24, 2024

By Jeremy Pivor, Bow Seat Partnerships and Youth Engagement Director

June 8th is World Ocean Day. This year’s theme is “One Ocean, One Climate, One Future – Together.” So it seems to be the perfect time for Bow Seat to announce the True Blue Fellowship, an evolution of the Fellowship Grant Program!

When I started with Bow Seat in September, I spent a month talking with current and past Fellowship Program Grantees, Future Blue Youth Council (FBYC) mentors, and staff about what worked, what could be improved, and where were there opportunities for growth. The feedback I received included emphasizing Bow Seat’s niche in the creative arts and ocean issues as well as increasing capacity building for both grantees and FBYC mentors.

Thus, the True Blue Fellowship was formed to connect and empower youth around the world to leverage the creative arts to enact change in local communities to safeguard the ocean, waterways, and the climate. The Fellowship provides mentorship, capacity building, and funding of up to $2,500 for 10 youth-led projects.

The Ocean, Waterways, and Climate Change
Bow Seat believes in supporting the next generation of young leaders who are addressing ocean, waterways, and climate change issues. As the theme of World Ocean Day attests to, all these systems are interconnected, and it is important to understand these linkages. This is why for the True Blue Fellowship, in addition to ocean and waterways projects, we accept applicants whose projects focus also on climate change. However, applicants must demonstrate how what they are doing to benefit the climate will ultimately benefit the ocean. We hope this approach will produce leaders with an understanding to tackle our blue planet’s complex issues in innovative and transformative ways.

2024 Fellow The Blue Carbon: Ocean and Climate Art Camp 

The Creative Arts
Bow Seat is the world’s largest environmental youth program for the creative arts. We believe the creative arts can empower youth to raise awareness and protect the ocean. The True Blue Fellowship is fueled by this theory of change. Projects must utilize the creative arts as the primary method for awareness and/or action. This doesn’t necessarily mean it needs to be the only part of the project. For instance, 2024 Fellow, Mazingira School Drive, are using performances to not only teach the local Ikolomani community about the negative impacts of gold mining, but also inspire others to take part in restoration efforts that will ultimately clean local waterways. This Fellowship is not just an opportunity for the creative arts community, but all youth to incorporate artistic strategies into their work. The arts (visual, poetry, music, etc.) have a unique way to touch people emotionally and inspire change. We’re excited to see how Fellows connect with and uplift their communities.

2024 Fellow Mazingira School Drive – Raising Awareness and Rehabilitating Ikolomani Gold Mines

Capacity Building
Peer-to-peer mentorship between the Future Blue Youth Council and Fellows remains the “magic sauce” for Bow Seat’s Fellowship. To support both sides of this mentor relationship, Bow Seat will focus on capacity building for Fellows and mentors. We will provide foundational skills in mentorship, strategic planning, project management, communications, outreach, and fundraising through workshops, speakers, and partnership development. Most importantly, Bow Seat will remain nimble to addressing each Fellow’s unique needs.

2024 Fellow Mindful Nature

Building Community
Ultimately, the True Blue Fellowship is about building a community of youth who can rely on one another as they become the leaders of tomorrow. To date, Bow Seat has supported 27 Fellows from 15 countries. As we welcome more True Blue Fellows, we hope to create an ecosystem for this alumni community that can be generative, foster wellbeing, and develop an exponential impact worldwide.

On World Ocean Day as all people come together as “One Future – Together,” we launch the True Blue Fellowship. It is all too clear that the unprecedented crises to our blue planet require innovative, out-of-the-box solutions. Youth are transformative thinkers, and Bow Seat wants to bet on you and the future you can create.

Apply Now!

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Launching the True Blue Fellowship!

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