John M. Belk Impact Fellowship

Nurturing Social Impact Leaders

The John M. Belk Impact Fellowship honors the legacy of John M. Belk – a man who exemplified servant leadership and consistently sought out ways to lift up others.

In 2020 the John M. Belk Endowment and The Hunt Institute came together to develop The John M. Belk Impact Fellowship. Designed with the goal of building future leaders in the area of social impact, the Fellowship places college students in 10-month long internships with organizations focused on providing equitable access to quality education.

The John M. Belk Impact Fellowship is a 10-month (August-May), paid program that provides hands-on experience for students currently enrolled in community college, undergraduate, or graduate programs in North Carolina. Building on the success of the John M. Belk Scholarship program, and the belief that talent is universal but opportunity is not, the Fellowship serves as a training ground for future generations of social impact leaders. To gain exposure to the inner workings of organizations playing a variety of critical roles across North Carolina’s education landscape, Fellows could be placed at organizations such as nonprofits, education systems and institutions, and philanthropy.

Fellows will deepen their experience across a wide array of focus areas, build relationships with one another and with education leaders, and gain marketable skills towards future employment.


The John M. Belk Impact Fellowship program:

  • Exposes current college students attending North Carolina colleges and universities to the inner workings of nonprofit organizations across the state.
  • Presents Impact Fellows with a diverse cohort of peers interested in advancing educational equity for all North Carolinians.
  • Affords participants the opportunity to engage with thought leaders in the social impact space via a regularly scheduled speaker series.
  • Promotes pathways and establishes networks for future opportunities in the sector.


The primary focus of the John M. Belk Impact Fellowship is to create a disruptive force for social justice, providing hands on experience in the social impact space to current college students to support the development of the next generation of leaders.

Impact Fellows are engaged in a wide array of learning experiences, including:

  • Ownership of far reaching and high impact projects at a diverse array of nonprofit host organizations.
  • Hands on skill building in functional areas in the nonprofit space including philanthropy, program management, finance and operations, communications and marketing, and research and evaluation.
  • Mentoring and coaching provided by The Hunt Institute.
  • Professional development via workshops and speakers.

2021-2022 Host Organizations




  • March 15, 2021 – Application Opens
  • May 28, 2021 @ 11:59pm – Applications Due
  • August 23, 2021 – Fellowship Start Date
  • May 27, 2022 – Fellowship End Date
  • June 6, 2022 – Closing Ceremony




How many Fellows will be accepted?

For each cohort, we expect to select 12-15 Impact Fellows.

How many hours will I be expected to complete each week at my host site placement?

  • Students should be able to commit at least 11 hours a week.
  • Additional hours can be worked above that minimum, up to but not to exceed 15 hours per week.

What exactly will I be doing? What will my time at my placement look like?

Impact Fellows work on a variety of projects, from policy briefs and research, to social media efforts and quantitative analysis. We match Impact Fellows based on the needs of the host organizations and the skills and interests of the prospective Fellow. No two experiences are alike.

Is this a paid internship?

Yes. Impact Fellows are paid $15/hour.

Where will I be placed?

Placements are determined after reviewing the needs of our host organizations and the professional aspirations of prospective Fellows.

What is the relationship between The Hunt Institute and the John M. Belk Endowment?

The Hunt Institute is a grantee of the John M. Belk Endowment and serves as administrator for this Fellowship.

I have a question that is not addressed here, who can I contact?

For any questions related to the Impact Fellowship, please contact Milagro Chavez-Cisneros at


John M. Belk Impact Fellows