Apply for JGS Fellows

Call for 2019-2020 JGS Fellows

JGS Program Manager and Fellows meeting for the first time over a meal in Chicago 2018 before the IA Gathering.

Thanks to a generous grant from the Joy of Giving Something, Inc., (JGS), Imagining America (IA) invites publicly engaged students who work with photography and/or digital media from our member institutions to apply for a 2019-2020 JGS Fellowship. Selected fellows will commit to a year-long learning exchange that includes tuition support, project support, and opportunities for professional development.



The goal of the JGS Fellows Program is to elevate photography and digital media as pathways for students to pursue their careers and to make a difference in their communities. The program specifically aims to support students for whom economic and family circumstances render such career pathways particularly challenging. Read more


Program Outline

Over the course of the fellowship year, each fellow will:

  • Receive a $2,000 tuition scholarship.
  • Receive mentorship and financial support for each Fellow’s community projects.
  • Attend the Imagining America National Gathering on October 18-20, 2019 in Albuquerque, NM. Complimentary registration and travel awards are included.
  • Participate in regular, virtual learning exchanges.
  • Be connected to the consortium’s national network of scholars, educators, artists, and community organizers.



May – June 2019 Application Period
June – July 2019 Selection and notification of fellows
August – September 2019 Orientation and virtual exchanges
October 2019 Participation of fellows in Imagining America National Conference
November 2019 – June 2020 Commence community projects, and continue virtual mentorship and learning exchanges
June 2020 Fellows submit summary of accomplishments, and close of 2019-2020 cohort year



To be considered, students must include the following in their application:

  • A completed application form, which includes an essay response of no more than 500 words;
  • Three work samples representative of your creative practice and demonstrating your skills in photography and/or digital media;
  • Proof of financial need with a federal, state, or school financial aid report for the 2019-20 academic year (See FAQ, below, for additional info);
  • A letter of recommendation from a faculty or staff member at your undergraduate institution, or a community organization member. Recommenders should send email letters directly to


Essay Prompt

Please address at least one of the questions listed below for your essay response. Responses should reflect your creative process, personal experiences and skills you have with a community organization, and outcomes you hope to achieve by connecting your photography or digital media skills with your community work. (500 word limit)

• What motivates you to use photography or digital media in your community or public engagement?

• What was a pivotal moment that occurred for you doing this work?

• What obstacles have you faced in realizing your community or public work, and how have you continued through them?


Link to Application:  Click Here


Students of all majors/areas of study are welcome to apply.
Submission deadline: Thursday, June 27 by the end of the day.

Please contact the program manager, Jeremy Truong, with any questions at

Fellows will be announced in July. Tuition scholarships will be dispersed in two parts, half at the beginning of the fall semester, and the second half at the beginning of the spring semester.



Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


Do I need to be a student majoring in photography or digital media to be eligible?

Undergraduate students in any major or area of study are encouraged to apply.

Do I need to be a U.S. citizen to be eligible?

No. Students are encouraged to apply regardless of their citizenship status.

How do I provide proof of financial need?

You can demonstrate need by providing a verifiable document usually by a student aid report. You can provide one of the following:

  • Federal: 2019-20 Student Aid Report (SAR)* from your Free Application for Federal Student Aid form (FAFSA)
  • State: a copy of a report from your state’s 2019-2020 financial aid application that summarizes your estimated financial need.
  • School: a copy of a summary from your school’s 2019-20 financial aid package that indicates your estimated financial need.

*For purposes of the JGS Fellows Program, the SAR includes your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) which is used to determine financial need.


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