The Staten Island Foundation Betsy Dubovsky Fellowship in Social Work

The Foundation’s Board of Directors has established a Fellowship in Social Work to celebrate the life and work of the Foundation’s first Executive Director, Betsy Dubovsky, who died of pancreatic cancer in February 2021.

Betsy led the Foundation for over 20 years. She often cited her training as a social worker as giving her the perspective that guided her thinking about how the resources of the Foundation could improve the lives of the least advantaged.

The Staten Island Foundation Betsy Dubovsky Fellowship in Social Work (the Fellowship) aims to capture some of the values that Betsy championed during her lifetime that have become part of the culture of the Foundation. Betsy encouraged life-long learning by supporting nonprofit leaders to participate in professional learnings. She also followed new trends in philanthropy and nonprofit development and brought new thinking to the community by convening workshops and seminars at the Foundation. She was particularly interested in ways that our community’s ability to collaborate could be harnessed as a resource for systemic change and empowering residents to create their own solutions to the challenges they face.

The Fellowship will be conducted in partnership with local nonprofit leaders. The Foundation has invited Staten Island-based nonprofits to apply to host Social Work Fellows that will begin their year-long fellowship in the fall of 2022. It is anticipated that 2 local nonprofits will be selected to receive up to $50,000 grants to serve as hosts with funds allocated to Fellow stipends, professional development, and project administration. The selected Fellowship hosts will work with the Foundation to identify candidates for the Fellowship.

The application process for Fellows will take place during Spring 2022. Fellows must be Staten Island residents but may attend any accredited Social Work program. Fellowship applicants should demonstrate a commitment to continuing their career on Staten Island but may be undergraduate or graduate social work students and attend school full or part-time. Fellows may also be MSWs seeking credentials towards their license who does not have a full-time, paid position in social work. Fellowship students may be studying for a career in a clinical Social Work area or pursuing a macro level career. In addition to their internship at the host organization, Fellows will dialogue with Foundation staff to participate in meetings of community collaborations and learn about the role of foundations in a community. At the conclusion of the year’s Fellowship, Fellows will share their reflections on their experiences.