2024 Capstone Fellowship Mid-Program Retreat

The Capstone Fellowship Midterm Retreat, which took place from the 19th to 21st of March at the Education Matters office, was a pivotal event for the Capstone Fellows. This retreat served as a platform for the fellows to come together, reflect on their projects, receive guidance on various aspects related to their capstone experience, and engage with experts in the field. 

Watch the Capstone Fellowship Short Documentary

The retreat commenced with an energetic start as the Capstone Fellows engaged in icebreakers to set a positive tone for the upcoming days. Following this, a wholesome breakfast provided fuel for the day ahead. The morning session included recaps and revisiting of their projects, allowing fellows to share progress, challenges, and insights gained thus far. This introspective exercise laid the foundation for deeper reflections later in the retreat.

Two key presentations were delivered in the afternoon to enrich the fellows’ understanding of their capstone journey. During a recent meeting, our Director, Rebecca Ziegler Mano, provided some valuable insights on how students can connect their capstone experience to their college journey. She emphasized the importance of using their capstone projects and experience as motivation to lead a service-oriented lifestyle. Ms. Betty’s session on project sustainability shed light on crucial strategies to ensure the longevity and impact of their initiatives beyond the fellowship period.

The second day of the retreat began with a presentation by Tendai Carlton Saunyama focusing on monitoring and evaluation techniques. This session equipped the fellows with essential tools to assess and enhance the effectiveness of their projects, emphasizing data-driven decision-making and continuous improvement.

Later in the day, the fellows visited USAP Community School for a convocation session to share insights about their capstone projects with the Upper Six and Lower Six students. This interactive session not only provided valuable mentorship to aspiring changemakers but also allowed the fellows to refine their communication skills and project presentation abilities.

Upon returning to Education Matters, the fellows hopped on a Zoom call with two distinguished Capstone Fellowship and USAP alumni, Albert Tsododo and Yamani Mpofu. This engaging discussion offered fellows an opportunity to gain wisdom from experienced individuals who had successfully navigated similar paths before them.

On the final day of the retreat, the Capstone Fellows embarked on a sight visit to UnCommon.org, immersing themselves in an innovative environment that sparked creativity. Since UnCommon.org started as an idea, the fellows were inspired by its current accomplishment as an organization. Upon returning from this excursion, a debriefing session enabled fellows to share highlights from their visit and reflect on how it influenced their perspectives.

A concluding reflection session encapsulated key takeaways from the retreat experience, encouraging fellows to distill lessons learned, set goals for future endeavors, and solidify their commitment to driving positive change through their projects.

In essence, the Capstone Fellowship Midterm Retreat was a transformative journey filled with learning opportunities, mentorship sessions, community engagement activities, and moments of self-discovery. As these dedicated fellows return home empowered and inspired, they carry forward a renewed sense of purpose to make meaningful contributions to society through their Capstone Projects.

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