In 2004, The Russell Family Foundation (TRFF) launched Jane’s Fellowship Program (JFP) to support the leadership development and capacity-building of grassroots leaders in Pierce County. The JFP Graduate Network consist of 87 fellows from 8 classes that have participated in the program, and class 9 is underway. JFP engages leaders who are interested in expanding their skills, broadening their networks and exchanging perspectives with other local leaders. Recently TRFF caught up with a few JFP graduates to highlight the diverse group of leaders who have been through the program and where their journey has taken them post-fellowship.
This interview has been edited for clarity.
Roslynn Watson, Class 2
What city do you live in?
University Place, Washington
What community work are you invested in right now and what are its intended impacts?
I’m interested in trauma recovery in the field of mental health. I intend to focus on BIPOC women who desire to have mental health recovery from trauma and their extended support. I also assist gender non-specific, LGBTQIA+, and men, but my focus is BIPOC women. The impact will hopefully be mental health recovery, self-acceptance, self-advocacy, personal responsibility on the part of the individual, radical self-love and acceptance, societal demand of trauma- informed systems.
How has your community work evolved since you participated in the fellowship?
I became self-aware of my need for trauma-informed care and radical self-love and acceptance. The experience with the fellowship leads me to recognize that I need to move from my authentic here and now to fulfill my desire to help myself, my family, and my community.
What would you tell someone interested in applying for the fellowship?
The experience is worth the commitment.
How would you describe your experience with JFP using 3 words?
Insightful. Enlightening. Worthy.