Mary Ellen Pleasant Entrepreneur (MEPE) Fellowship
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What is MEPE Fellowship about?

The Mary Ellen Pleasant Entrepreneurship (MEPE) Fellowship is a 10-week paid internship & entrepreneurship coaching program with The Whether.

Beginning in Spring 2019, accepted fellows will be paid up to $2,500 and build a mini-startup focused on student coaching using the Soft Skills and Values Assessment .

Where is the fellowship?

The fellowship is virtual. This means you will not need to travel and will participate while in school during the spring 2019 semester.

What will I get out of the 10-week experience?

1. A practical paid experience working at a start-up you can put on your resume.

2. A way to help other students on campus with their careers.

3. Leadership and team collaboration skills through the Soft Skills and Values Assessment.

4. A potential trip to an awards dinner celebrating your success and networking with other entrepreneurial professionals at the end of the internship.

Application Steps

Complete within 1 week of starting

After both steps are complete, we'll reach out to do an interview.

Additional Information

What is The Whether?

The Whether is a minority-owned technology company that helps students of color discover and prepare to meet with companies planning to visit their college campus. The company has raised $2.5 million to date, generates more than $1 million in revenue, and recently partnered with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support this innovative initiative.

What commitments do I need to make for the Fellowship?

Fellows are expected to commit at least 4 hours a week (about 45 minutes a day) to the internship. A 10-week curriculum based on key startup principles will be tied to campus engagement goals. Fellows will also incorporate videos, readings, and quizzes.

What dates should I be aware of?

December 10, 2018 - Fellowship Application Deadline

The fellowship is designed to identify future entrepreneurs that want to leave a legacy. Students who apply early have an advantage because our team will have more time to read their applications. You can submit after the deadline - though keep in mind that the later you apply, the harder it is to get in.

January 14, 2019 - Fellows Announced

February 2019 - Internship Starts

What schools are participating?

Students who attend these MEPE Fellowship Partner schools should apply:

Albany State University

Claflin University

Florida A&M University

Huston Tillotson University

Morehouse College

North Carolina Central University

Spelman College

The University of Maryland Eastern Shore

Xavier University of Louisiana

Benedict College

Clark Atlanta University

Fayetteville State University

Jackson State University

Morgan State University

Paul Quinn College

Stillman College

University of West Alabama

Bluefield State College

Dillard University

Fisk University

Langston University

North Carolina A&T University

Prairie View A&M University

Tennessee State University

Winston Salem State University

Improve Your Chances

Show Your Marketing Skills

Convince at least 3 friends to complete their Soft Skills and Values Assessment. We'll send you a customized referral link to keep track of your progress!

Form a Team

Apply with others as a team! Each team member must submit their own application. Teams can be up to 5 people.

Show Your Creativity

Create a 2-minute video (YouTube, etc.) pitching how you (or your team) would creatively engage 500 students and help them choose a major, pick courses, or prepare for an internship interview.

Submit your team and video link .

Eligibility & Tips

1. Any student that attends an MEPE Fellows partner school may apply.

2. We recommend exceptional, high performing students who will not graduate prior to Spring 2019.

3. We recommend students who have a minimum 3.0 GPA and have demonstrated leadership experience.

Mary Ellen Pleasant

Source: the Paris Review

Mary Ellen Pleasant was a very successful 19th-century African American entrepreneur, financier, real estate magnate and abolitionist who identified as ‘a capitalist by profession’ in the 1890 United States Census.

Pleasant came from humble beginnings being born into slavery. With her husband, through smart investments and business dealings, she amassed a fortune estimated to be around $30 million dollars. She made active contributions to the abolitionist movement and fought for civil rights in California. She also used her influence and wealth to employ Black Americans, freed and runaway slaves from the underground railroad, at her various businesses.

She was a friend and financial supporter of John Brown, and was well known in abolitionist circles. After the Civil War, she took her battles to the courts in the 1860s and won several civil rights victories, one of which was cited and upheld in the 1980s and resulted in her being called “The Mother of Human Rights in California”.

The MEPE Fellowship embodies her vision, spirit, and desire to help others. With an opportunity to showcase their entrepreneurial talent, fellows can make a significant impact on campus with other students.