New Landmark Study of Humanity in Action American Senior Fellows Released

November 03, 2014 | senior fellows, united states

A new report finds that 93% of Humanity in Action alumni from the United States rate the Humanity in Action Fellowship as a “tremendously positive experience” and 98% would participate in the Fellowship again if they could.

The study, available here, represents the largest survey of Humanity in Action American Senior Fellows ever conducted. Fifteen Years of Humanity in Action: Experiences and Outcomes of the American Senior Fellow Network was produced by Priya Fielding-Singh, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology at Stanford University. The study offers a wealth of information on more than 200 American Senior Fellows from the years 1998-2012.

"Since its formation, Humanity in Action has sought to educate and inspire young people through its summer fellowship program," says Ms. Fielding-Singh. "This report – the most comprehensive of its kind – reveals both how the organization has impacted the lives of its Senior Fellows and what it can do to improve its programming in the future."

Key findings from Fifteen Years of Humanity in Action include:

  • 93% of Fellows consider the Fellowship to have been a tremendously positive experience, and 96% reported gaining a better understanding of minority and human rights issues during the Fellowship.
  • Senior Fellows feel a strong continued connection to Humanity in Action through their relationships with other Fellows. Nine out of ten Fellows have made one or more close friends through Humanity in Action. 
  • The Senior Fellow Community is personally and professionally useful to Fellows: approximately half of Fellows consider someone within the Humanity in Action community to be a role model. One in four Fellows has found a job through a Humanity in Action connection.
  • 92% of Fellows state that making a difference in society is very important to them. At the same time, Fellows also hold other important values that guide their choices, including financial stability and familial relationships. 

Ms. Fielding-Singh conducted an extensive online survey with 211 individuals who participated in the Humanity in Action Fellowship from the program years 1998-2012. The author also completed in-depth interviews with 24 Senior Fellows to collect more open-ended, qualitative data about their Fellowship experiences, current undertakings and future aspirations.

Ms. Fielding-Singh is herself a Humanity in Action Senior Fellow from 2011. The Stanford Office of Community Engagement and the Stanford Center for Philanthropy and Civil Society funded this research project.

The author offers several key recommendations for Humanity in Action’s future development. These include:

  • Intensively engage Senior Fellows in the first year after the Fellowship.
  • Provide more geographically diverse opportunities for Fellows to stay involved.
  • Create new opportunities for Senior Fellows across the years to connect.
  • Expand on the organization's curriculum and approach to human rights to engage a broader range of Senior Fellows.
  • Offer more financial aid for various Senior Fellow initiatives.

Humanity in Action encourages its entire community and the public to read this unprecedented new report from Ms. Fielding-Singh.

About Humanity in Action

Humanity in Action is an international organization that educates, inspires and connects a network of university students and young professionals committed to promoting human rights, diversity and active citizenship in their own communities and around the world.

Founded in 1997, Humanity in Action has educated more than 1,400 young leaders through its fellowship programs in Denmark, France, Germany, Poland, the Netherlands, Belgium and the United States. The organization holds governing and advisory boards in seven countries and is headquartered in New York City.

Latest News

Related Fellows

Priya Fielding-Singh
Priya Fielding-Singh
Senior Fellow