Preparing Youth for the “Safety Corps”

It’s not enough for students to experience youth programs.  Decision-makers, politicians, and communities must create opportunities for positive youth development. Building on the Peace Plan for a Safer America (MFOL, 2019) to create 10,000 full-time volunteers in the “Safety Corps,” we create a pathway for part-time volunteers during their college experience to increase the possibility of students selecting a career in safety, violence prevention, and peace promotion. Through these college courses, fellowships, internships, students learn how to be more prosocial, more aware and appreciative of culture, and influential to inspire others to lead.


Developing prosocial competence requires a shift from self-centric to other-centric thinking and acting


Developing cultural humility requires people to move from cultural awareness to advocacy of multi-cultural practice


Developing leadership competence requires people to move from destructive to constructive-prosocial leadership styles


Numerous out-of-the-box and one-size-fits-all programs aim to develop students at a particular developmental stage (e.g., childhood) within a specific school setting (e.g., elementary school).  We take a broader lens, focusing on student development across every educational experience from elementary school to college/university.  

Elementary School

Elementary School

Middle School

Middle School

High School

High School

College/ University

College/ University

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Intentionally developing prosocial, cultural and leadership competencies at every level of education prepares students with the skills to succeed in life -- at school, home and eventually, at work. We envision more opportunities for students to use their prosocial strengths at work in a career of service towards others. We call this the "Student-to-Public Good" Pipeline.

The deck is stacked toward certain career aspirations because of existing structures, resources, and pathways.  COR aims to open more opportunities for a career pathway of service.  Teach for America, Peace Corps, and military service are well-established pathways from college campuses, but more pathways are possible.

Imagine if we could help all U.S. students develop the life and career skills to flourish in the 21st century and possibly select a career of service to others.  Take Sarah -- she enters Kindergarten, her first elementary school classroom, and leaves the classroom for the last time as a college graduate after 16 years of schooling.  In that time, she amassed more than courses and degrees; she left with a value to serve others, the skills to help her friends and strangers, the experiences to interact well with all a diverse group of people. Imagine if these skills of caring were quantifiable to show measurable growth in social-emotional and leadership development.  What if there were more than skills and a value to serve but real pathways to begin a purpose-driven career as public servants or leaders of a civil society (e.g., nonprofit staff members or social entrepreneurs)? Careers of service exist and thus, our vision is to build a “School to Public Service” Pipeline. 


Cor Fellows Program

The top priority of the Cor Fellows Program is to:

  1. Select emerging student leaders (sophomores and juniors in college) as Cor Fellows

  2. Develop five primary competencies so Fellows can change the world

  3. Prepare Fellows to thrive as prosocial leaders in their social, educational, and eventually, work environment

  4. Serve and benefit their college and surrounding community by providing Cor 4 Programs.  

A Fellow should act as a courageous, socially-emotionally competent leader who actively creates a new norm of helping. A Fellow is service-oriented and passionate about advancing our vision of creating a more prosocial and equitable culture by preventing violence and promoting kindness in schools. 

The Fellow is a community-based role in local schools. Fellows facilitate school-based programs and mentor/ coach middle and high school students. They are advised and supported by the Cor Director of Programs to

  1. Increase the quantity of schools served and improved the quality of programming provided

  2. Serve as an ambassador and advocate for the organization

  3. Assists in other related tasks

More details about the fellowship experience can be found here

Megan Arnold

Allegheny College

Watch and listen as shares her transformation and passion for serving others through the KRL Fellowship!

What COmpetencies will you develop as a fellow?

The Fellowship experience supports implementation of Cor school-based programs and student development goals. The Cor Director of Programs, a student affairs professional, customizes the training and leadership coaching based on the student's strengths, goals, and career aspiration. Additionally, all Cor Fellows have a shared experience from cohort-based activities based on a co-curricular approach to facilitate eight social-emotional and professional competencies (see model below). 

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Based on each Cor Fellow's strengths, goals, and career aspirations, their fellowship experience will produce varying degrees of development regarding the following eight primary competencies. 

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Career Preparation

The Fellow, Cor Director of Programs, and related stakeholders identify the gaps between their current knowledge, skills and abilities in relation to their aspired levels. To address this gap, numerous training and experienctial activities occur. 

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Critical-Thinking & Decision-Making

Progression through the Fellowship experience—from orientation to mentoring new fellows—creates moments of structure and support which will increase Fellows’ critical-thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making skills.



Fellows are expected to communicate regularly with students, school staff, and Cor staff. Fellows develop both verbal and written communication skills appropriate of a project manager in a consulting or  external-focused role. Additionally, Fellows will learn how to present themselves in a professional manner while working in schools.

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Participation in Cor’s Fellowship experience results in an increased understanding of one’s career and life’s purpose. While facilitation and mentorship of youth and fellow cohort members may shift, inspire, or confirm your career and life’s purpose, the other activities completed by a fellow (i.e., peer-coaching, one-on-one check-ins, completion of learning agreement) facilitate reflection opportunities for Fellows to make meaning of their fellowship experience.

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Foster independence

As Fellows develop these various competencies, they develop an enhanced sense of independence. Subsequently, they will require less frequent supervision and direction from Cor staff and are  encouraged to take on leadership roles within their cohort.

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Fellows will develop strong facilitation skills through the implementation of the Cor 4 programs in middle and/or high school settings.

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Fellows will develop strong mentorship skills by serving as both mentor and mentee throughout the Fellowship experience.

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Fellows will develop strong peer-coaching skills as a result of peer-coaching session with Fellow Cohort members.

Deadlines to apply:

  • Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. There are a limited number of positions. Please apply now!

  • Applications will be reviewed by Cor staff within 7 days and applicants will be notified by email about an interview date. 

How is the Fellowship Supported?

Thanks to the generous support of the family and friends of Kevin R. Lawall.  Fellowships are named in honor of people who will be remembered for their legacy of care and compassion toward others. In Spring 2017, three college Fellows were sponsored. During the 2017 - 2018 school year, 15 KRL Fellows were supported by donors. 

CURRENTLY, we offer Fellowships at:

  • OSU Marion / Marion Tech (Marion, OH)

  • Ohio University - Eastern (Clairsville, OH)

  • Kent State University (Kent, OH)

  • Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, OH)

  • The College of Wooster (Wooster, OH)

  • Tulane University (New Orleans, LA)

  • Allegheny College (Meadville, PA)

  • The Ohio State University (Columbus, OH)

  • Lakeland Community College (Kirkland, OH)

  • George Mason University (Fairfax, VA)

  • Ohio University - Southern (Ironton, OH)



Student-Developed Solutions at Virginia Commonwealth University

Cor Advisor Somiah Lattimore co-led a human centered design course for VCU undergraduate students who are pursuing a certificate through the da Vinci Center. This IDEO-inspired course taught the process of Design Thinking, supported a non-profit client's aspirations (i.e., Cor Foundation!) and encouraged students to develop solutions to address the continued decline of empathy in schools.


How might we spread caring in schools?  


inSIGHT Virtual reality

Students wrote the script, role played, and filmed bullying scenarios using a 360 camera. Then, they tested their program by comparing in-person role plays of bullying, standard video, and virtual reality. Their solution: InSight, an upstander program to stop bullying. 


paired pieces

Students developed a cooperative activity for friends and strangers. Their research highlights the importance of attending to group composition (strangers vs. friends), which influences bonding and prosocial actions. Their puzzle piece intervention could improve club effectiveness in high schools and beyond.