Founders Program Overview
The Drexel Fund offers a prestigious paid fellowship to innovative leaders with a strong desire and plan to launch high-quality, private schools for low-income children.

The fellowship is rigorous and customized to the founder’s leadership development and school launch. The fellowship includes leadership coaching, cohort trainings and school launch support. Founders receive a living stipend and a budget for their individual learning plans during a one-year fellowship that culminates in founders requesting school start-up funding from The Drexel Fund. Schools that meet The Drexel Fund’s rigorous selection criteria will receive financial resources during their early years before they reach full capacity. The Fund will also be a strategic and financial partner in the expansion of successful individual school models into networks of schools.

Qualities of a Drexel Founder:

  • Deeply committed and driven
  • Visionary
  • Entrepreneurial
  • Self-aware and committed to continuous improvement
  • An experienced, results-oriented and results-proven leader
  • Committed to equity and building strong relationships with all stakeholders
  • A strategic thinker
  • A strong communicator with charisma
  • A resourceful project manager
  • A persistent and relentless change agent

Fellowship Highlights:

  • Competitive stipend package
  • Customized learning, development and practice plan for each Founder
  • Coaching sessions on leadership development and assistance with school launch plans
  • Ongoing learning and practice reinforced by quarterly cohort training sessions
  • School visits to high-performing schools across the country
  • Plan, design and launch support to ensure a successful private school start-up
  • Near-term opportunity to apply for school start-up funding as well as the long-term opportunity for strategic and financial support as the school replicates
  • Two years of extended coaching and support after completing the fellowship, if the Founder’s school model is selected for school start-up support