Margaret Chen '21 Selected for Coro Fellowship
The environmental studies major will join the 74th Coro Class of Northern California, rotating through six placements in San Francisco across government, nonprofit, and business sectors to accelerate positive change.
After Commencement, senior Margaret Chen will be returning to her San Francisco hometown as a Coro Fellow. This exceptional educational-discovery fellowship, now in its 74th year, is available in five locations across the country--San Francisco, Los Angeles, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, and New York--to prepare citizen leaders for diverse careers in public affairs. As part of a cohort with 11 other fellows in San Francisco, Chen will spend her nine-month fellowship rotating through six different placements across diverse sectors--government, nonprofit, labor, business--as a way to facilitate hands-on learning.
“I was really interested in the Coro Fellowship because it was an unique fellowship that focused on helping fellows create their own career path through giving fellows month-long experiences in different organizations,” she said. “I decided to apply because I wanted my gap year experience to be focused on exploring different career paths and industries and meeting a diverse group of alumni and fellows.”
In addition to the rotating placements, Coro Fellows attend regular group seminars, undertake independent projects in public affairs, conduct interviews with prominent decision makers, and participate in a series of “focus weeks” in which they devote their week’s experiential learning, interviews, and projects to a specific issue. All of this is designed to expose fellows to different paths to effect change in communities while they build relationships and networks for the future. Several universities’ graduate programs even offer scholarships, fee waivers, or credits specifically for Coro alumni.
Chen, who majors in environmental studies, was previously part of the Haverford Innovations Program Incubator, working on Bentbox, a return system for reusable fast food containers. Though she hasn’t explored public affairs widely in her coursework, she sees the fellowship as a bridge from her sustainability efforts to her eventual professional goals.
“I want to have a career involved in urban planning, environmental consulting, or in entrepreneurship,” she said. “I would like to create my own startup focused on innovating new systems that can alleviate the environmental burden corporations put onto our natural and social communities and pressure corporations to be more socially responsible and environmentally sustainable. This fellowship will help guide me through the professional field through weekly seminars and field practice and will give me more confidence in working towards these goals after I graduate from Haverford and from the fellowship next year.”