Menino Fellowship with the National League of Cities

The Menino Fellowship with the National League of Cities (NLC) provides one Boston University undergraduate student with the opportunity to explore an interest in public service, city-level programs and policies, and municipal leadership on behalf of children, youth, and families through a directed study and semester-long paid internship in the Washington, D.C. headquarters of the NLC.

Applications for the 2024–2025 academic year are due Sunday, May 19, 2024.

Read about the experiences of past Menino Fellows. Watch an info session and showcase of the 2023–2024 Fellowship.

Page Overview

    2024–2025 Fellowship

    The Fellowship consists of two parts, a directed study during the fall semester and a semester-long paid internship with the National League of Cities in the spring semester.*

    Students interested in this fellowship are encouraged to contact MetroBridge Program Manager David Gross at davgross@bu.edu to express their interest and/or to discuss any questions they may have. This is not required, and not contacting us will not adversely affect an application.

    *Both semesters (directed study and internship) are required for the fellowship. Students spend the spring semester participating in BU Global Program’s DC Internship Program. Students interested in switching the semesters (pursuing the DC portion of the fellowship in the fall semester and a spring semester directed study) should contact David Gross at davgross@bu.edu at least 2 weeks prior to the application deadline. 

    Fall Semester (Directed Study):[1]

    • Enroll in a Directed Study under the supervision of the Initiative on Cities’ Director, Professor Loretta Lees.
      • Students may be eligible to earn 1 RIL BU Hub credit for their directed study! Learn more here.
      • The directed study will have a clear focus on urban populations and an issue or topic that relates to at least one of the following: Urban Governance, City Politics, Education, Health Disparities, Family Economic Success, Violence Prevention, Youth Civic Engagement, Early Childhood, Juvenile Justice, City/State/Federal Relations, or a topic of your own choosing that relates to creating more prosperous, inclusive cities.
      • Recent directed study topics include studying the history of Boston housing policy; comparing socioeconomic inclusivity in Boston’s Seaport and Midtown, Atlanta; examining approaches to restorative justice of two community courts in New York City and Chicago; and examining equity between various locations of Boston Centers for Youth and Families. You can learn more about the work of past fellows here.
    • Attend NLC’s 2024 City Summit annual conference, a convening of municipal leaders from across the country held November 13–16, 2024 in Tampa, FL.
      • Please note that the Fellow’s conference expenses, including meals and travel/lodging costs, are covered by the Initiative on Cities.
      • The Fellow’s academic requirements and coursework are a priority over conference attendance. Because of this, conference attendance is strongly encouraged when possible but not required.

    Spring Semester (Internship):

    • Enroll in the Washington D.C. Internship Program, administered via the Boston University Study Abroad office.
      • Please note, the selected Fellow will apply separately to the BU Washington, D.C. Internship Program by the the 2025 spring semester deadline (note, the application deadline will be during the fall 2024 semester).
    • Work full-time, 4 days per week (~30 hours/week) at the Washington, D.C. headquarters of the National League of Cities.
      • Pay will be approximately $17.50/hour
      • This will fulfill the internship requirement of the D.C. Internship Program.
      • Fellow will focus on one or more core program areas of NLC’s Institute for Youth, Education, and Families (YEF Institute) while also gaining exposure to other aspects of NLC’s issue portfolio and ongoing operations. The areas under the YEF Institute include:
        • Early Childhood Success — supporting ways that city leaders can align early childhood systems (0-8 years), improve quality and access, ensure every child enters school ready to learn, and ultimately reach their full potential.
        • Education and Expanded Learning — supporting the numerous ways that city leaders can exercise leadership in partnership with the K–12 system to promote educational achievement, support public schools, increase high school graduation rates and expand college access and completion.
        • Health and Wellness — supporting local leaders in their efforts to improve the health and well-being of city residents, address key social determinants of health such as housing, land use, and economic development, and promote more effective local responses to mental health crises, substance use disorders and homelessness.
        • Youth and Young Adult Connections — supporting local leaders as they seek to reform juvenile and criminal justice systems, reconnect disconnected or opportunity youth to school and work, and expand equitable access to nature for children and families.

    Application & Eligibility:

    Applications for the 2024–2025 academic year are due Sunday, May 19, 2024.  

    Please review the following eligibility restrictions: 

    • Full-time BU undergraduate students in good standing are eligible to apply.
    • This position requires you to hold a paid, full-time, off-campus internship while taking classes during the spring semester. For non-visa students this is not typically an issue. Unfortunately, students who are on visas may not be eligible to apply.
      • For students on a visa: We are typically only able to accept applications from students who are eligible to work full-time in the United States without restrictions. However, students on international visas who wish to apply should specify their visa type below. As soon as possible, such students contact David Gross at davgross@bu.edu and send the full fellowship description to the ISSO to inquire about their eligibility.
    • Applicants must be able to complete a Directed Study under the supervision of CAS faculty. If you are not in CAS, please contact your academic advisor to confirm you ability to complete this.
    • While not required, students interested in this fellowship are encouraged to contact David Gross at davgross@bu.edu in advance of applying to express their interest and discuss any questions they may have about the fellowship or application. Not contacting us will not adversely affect your application.
    Apply Now

    Please note that your completed application must contain all of the following in a single PDF:

    • Cover letter outlining your interest in the Fellowship and commitment to making a positive impact at the local level.
    • Resume
    • A list of two references, either academic or professional. Please include their title, organization, phone number, and email (no letters of recommendation).
    • Unofficial copy of your academic transcript
      • Your BU unofficial academic transcript can be obtained free of charge on student link. You may use the preview transcript page (print -> save as PDF) on the transcript ordering page on student link without completing your order of an official transcript. If you have questions regarding obtaining an unofficial BU transcript without ordering one, please contact the registrar or your academic advisor.
    • Directed Study Proposal
        • This two-page proposal should outline the directed study you would like to pursue under the supervision of Professor Loretta Lees (and any other faculty members you wish to engage, if applicable), including a clear focus on urban populations and an issue or topic that relates to at least one of the following:
          • Urban Governance, City Politics, Education, Health Disparities, Family Economic Success, Violence Prevention, Youth Civic Engagement, Early Childhood, Juvenile Justice, City/State/Federal Relations, or a topic of your own choosing that relates to creating more prosperous, inclusive cities.
          • Please note that at this stage the topic is of greatest interest. The IOC will work with the selected Fellow on refining their directed study and assist with submission to their school or college to ensure appropriate approvals and course credit.
          • Please include the proposed number of academic credits for your directed study. Most, but not all, applicants submit for either 3 or 4 credits, although you may submit for as few as 1 or as many as 6.
          • Questions? See below.

    Questions?

    Questions about the Menino Fellowship with the NLC, including questions about the application and directed study proposal, should be directed to David Gross at davgross@bu.edu.

    About the Menino Fellowship with the NLC

    This recurring, competitive Fellowship was jointly established by the National League of Cities (NLC) and the Boston University Initiative on Cities (IOC) to honor the legacy of former Boston Mayor Tom Menino. Mayor Menino was co-founder of the IOC and a lifelong advocate for children, youth, and families.

    Elected five times as Mayor of Boston and five times at City Councilor, Thomas M. Menino dedicated his life and career to helping the people of Boston. His leadership and compassion reached well beyond the City he loved, in part through his strong partnership and leadership in the National League of Cities. He served as the Founding Chair of NLC’s Institute for Youth, Education and Families, where his early vision and continued support contributed to its success as an “action tank” for America’s cities, and twice hosted the NLC Congress of Cities, first in 2000 and again in 2012. Mayor Menino joined Boston University in January 2014 to co-found the Initiative on Cities.

    The BU Initiative on Cities is an urban leadership and research center, headquartered on the Boston University Charles River Campus, designed to promote and advance the adaptive urban leadership strategies necessary to support cities as dynamic centers of economic growth and development in the 21st century.

    The National League of Cities is dedicated to helping city leaders build better communities. Working in partnership with the 49 state municipal leagues, NLC serves as a resource to and an advocate for the more than 19,000 cities, villages and towns it represents. NLC’s Institute for Youth, Education, and Families was established in 2000 to strengthen the capacity of municipal leaders to address the needs of children, youth, and families in their own communities.

    Notes:

    [1]A Directed Study is a course in which a student pursues independent research under the guidance of a faculty member. You must enroll in a Directed Study by the University add/drop deadline. The IOC will provide support and guidance through this process for the awarded fellow.