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 Fellow’s leadership development and school launch needs. The fellowship includes leadership coaching and cohort trainings. Fellows receive a stipend and a budget for their individual learning plan and school launch support during a one-year fellowship that culminates in Fellows requesting school start-up funding from The Drexel Fund. Each school that meets The Drexel Fund’s rigorous selection criteria will receive financial resources in the school’s early years before it reaches full capacity. The Drexel Fund also will be a strategic and financial partner in the development of successful school models into networks of schools.

Qualities of a Drexel Founder:

A Drexel Fund Fellow has done considerable work toward refining their vision, securing resources, and forming a board. He or she is also:

  • Deeply committed and driven
  • Visionary
  • Entrepreneurial
  • Self-aware and committed to continuous improvement
  • Results-oriented and results-proven
  • An experienced leader that builds relationship 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 Fellow
  • 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
  • Near-term opportunity to apply for school start-up funding as well as the long-term opportunity for strategy and financial support as the school replicates
  • Two years of extended coaching and support after completing the Fellowship if the Fellow’s school model is selected for school start-up support