Path to Purpose


Path to Purpose is a year-long leadership and social change fellowship. Fellows undergo trainings focused on relationship building, personal development/branding, leadership, communication, community organizing, etc. The fellowship collaborates heavily with numerous community organizations/people in Gainesville and Alachua County. Fellows develop relationships between themselves and the community to support long-term goals of positive community growth.  

The fellowship aims to establish a tradition of community collaboration and social change, inspiring students to meet specific community needs, be innovative in approaching our shared future, and promote growth and personal development. Fellows learn about critical community engagement and organizing, collaborate with fellow cohort members and BCLS staff, and develop individual and intersectional cohort projects, creating tangible impacts through ongoing projects.

Check out some of our Community Fellows’ previous work here!

Work is self-directed and self-motivated, with individualized support and structure provided by the BCLS team. Please note, that this is not a competitive fellowship; it is a collaborative fellowship. The purpose is to develop your leadership through social change and community involvement.

Time commitment varies each week, but we expect fellows to spend a minimum of 4–6 hours per week on Path to Purpose items. The variance is due to the self-directed work completed outside of the fellowship space. 

The mandatory weekly meetings will occur throughout the semesters from 4:30-6 pm on Tuesdays. Outside of this space, you can expect to work within teams with other fellows; attend community events; work with a community partner; and contribute to initiatives that could address food insecurity, health, housing, education, capacity building, and more.  

Are You?

  • Dedicated to social action and change. 
  • Ready to play an active role in a collective community organizing process and contribute to long-term goals.  
  • Ready to break down silos and work at the intersections of different disciplines and various social issues, creating a vision to work towards common goals. 
  • Ready to build community with your peers in Gainesville, and across UF.  
  • Ready to grow as a leader and a neighbor.  

    You will gain

    • Connection to community partners and members, and faculty.  
    • Experience working with communities and on projects related to your passions.  
    • Experience in crafting a program and having agency in its direction.  
    • A culminating product, such as an e-portfolio and a showcase.  
    • Soft skills (communication, relationship building, listening) and professional development to develop yourself. 

      Ready to Advance your leadership path?

      Check back soon for more information regarding application open dates.

      Would you like to partner with us?

      Are you a UF Faculty or Community Organization who could benefit from Community Fellows?  Please let us know about your project so we can recruit the best students for you.  For more information, contact Manda Wittebort at: