Community Health Fellowship

Website: Project Horseshoe Farm


HSF offers unique education and leadership development opportunities for current undergraduates, recent college graduates, medical students, and other health professions students.

For recent graduates, our 13-month Gap Year Fellowship begins in June and ends in July of the following year. Horseshoe Farm offers residential community health service and learning internships and other volunteer opportunities for undergraduate students in fall, winter, spring, and summer. To inquire about residential internship opportunities, non-residential volunteer opportunities, or group/individual visits, please email

Gap Year Fellowship

Horseshoe Farm offers an intensive paid 1 year (13 month) community-based gap year service and leadership development Fellowship.  It is geared to top recent college graduates from around the nation interested in community health and education, non-profit and organizational management, social entrepreneurship, and community service leadership.  

The competitive Fellowship is a unique opportunity for high levels of responsibility and mentored hands on learning in a rapidly growing community based non-profit organization.  It is also an opportunity to help shape community health locally and contribute to a model for communities across the country. Its ultimate aim is to prepare citizen service leaders needed for tomorrow's communities. 

Fellows receive an educational grant of $800-$1050 a month, free housing, and valuable experience through:

    • Participation in Horseshoe Farm’s innovative approaches to improving health, education, and community health systems
    • Work supporting health providers, teachers, and other community leaders

    • Direct work with seniors, adults living with mental illness, and children

    • Close work and collaboration with a team of other talented Fellows

    • Firsthand exposure to health systems, to health policy, and to community health in action

    • Direct experience impacting social determinants of health and learning about the biopsychosocial model

    • Experience with operations in a community based non-profit organization

    • Community Engagement work in support of other civic, business, non-profit, and governmental organizations throughout the community and other opportunities to get to know their local community

    • Ongoing mentorship and teaching and weekly readings and discussions (syllabus overview can be found here)

Fellows consistently go on to some of the top medical, nursing, public health, health management, and education programs in the nation and several have received the most prestigious scholarships and awards at their respective institutions.


For more information or to apply, please email


We invite applicants from the full spectrum of majors and backgrounds who have an interest in and the potential for community-based citizen service leadership.

Though academic credentials will be taken into consideration, we seek individuals who have positive personal characteristics such as a positive attitude, sense of gratitude, maturity, empathy, integrity, flexibility, teamwork skills, and strong work ethic. We also seek Fellows who understand Horseshoe Farm’s values, want to adapt to, be a part of, and learn from the Horseshoe Farm culture and approach to teaching community service leadership (please read Horseshoe Farm “Who We Are” document), and are desiring of working with us towards Horseshoe Farm’s mission. Fellows will be accepted from a national pool of applicants.

Valid driver's license and a working automobile is required.

Because of the lack of efficient public transportation in our sites, Fellows must each have their own car and an active driver’s license before starting the Fellowship. This is required not only for the Fellows’ personal transportation, but because Fellows use their own cars to provide a large amount of transportation in their volunteer service, including with their health partners (to visit them at home, to help them get to medical appointments, to help them with some other basic transportation needs). Fellows also help provide transportation to participants attending community center programs. Finally, Fellows will need their cars to transport themselves between the various sites where their Fellowship activities occur.

We don’t want Fellows to be caught off guard by the amount of driving that they will need their cars for and ask that you speak with current Fellows ahead of time to get an accurate sense of the amount of driving that is part of the Fellowship. We realize that the extra mileage on Fellow’s personal vehicles creates an extra financial burden. To help alleviate some of this burden, we provide Fellows an additional monthly transportation reimbursement that is roughly the equivalent of the cost of a tank of gas per week for a small vehicle. We recognize that this may not fully cover all transportation costs (including car maintenance and repairs expenses) related to the Fellowship, but hope that it helps significantly decrease the burden on Fellows.

One final note regarding automobiles. In parts of Greensboro and Marion there are dirt roads and roads that aren’t well suited to cars with very low clearance. If you have concerns, we encourage you to speak directly with our Fellows to get an accurate sense of whether your car would be well suited for these roads.

Student Type
  • freshman
  • sophomore
  • junior
  • senior
  • graduate
Citizen Type

After an initial review process of each application, qualified applicants will be contacted to schedule an initial interview with one of our current Fellows and another Horseshoe Farm representative (Board Member, past Fellow, or other). After these interviews, qualified applicants will be invited to schedule a second interview with one of our site directors followed by a final interview with our Executive Director.

The selection committee will then notify each applicant (typically by early April) whether they will be offered a position in the Fellowship class. If you are offered a position in the Fellowship class, to be fair to other applicants, you will have only a couple of days to decide whether to commit to the position.

To be fully transparent, to try to set realistic and accurate expectations about the Fellowship, and to try to set everyone up for success, we ask you to carefully read and understand our Learn More/ FAQ and Values: Who We Are documents. We also invite and strongly encourage applicants to arrange a time during the application and selection process to speak with at least one of our current Fellows. Fellows are happy to openly share their experiences and to answer any questions you might have.


What is community health and how can aspiring future leaders act individually and collectively to help their neighbors and strengthen community health?  Since our founding in 2007, Horseshoe Farm has tackled these questions. 

In 2009 we created a unique educational grant supported one-year  Community Health Service Leadership Fellowship geared to top recent college graduates from across the country.  More than 150 outstanding Horseshoe Farm Fellows have offered 250,000+ hours of their time, talents, and energies to this rigorous, intensive, and immersive year of volunteer service and learning.  

Working as teams and with ongoing teaching and mentorship, Fellows participate in and learn from our pioneering multidimensional integrated approach to community health.  Fellows volunteer as “health partners” to support seniors, adults living with mental illness, and other vulnerable or isolated individuals.  They volunteer in after school programs and with local schools to help small groups of students.  They help develop and lead programs at local community centers and volunteer with local supported housing programs and nursing homes.  They live and learn in one of our three wonderful partner communities (Greensboro, AL, Perry County, AL, and Pomona, CA) while participating in Horseshoe Farm's time-tested approach to helping our vulnerable neighbors and improving community health.   

These efforts all contribute to Horseshoe Farm’s steadfast mission of building on the strengths of local communities, improving the health and quality of life of our vulnerable neighbors, and preparing citizen service leaders for tomorrow’s communities. Please join us.

Contact Information

Any questions about the application process or fellowship can be directed to our recruitment team at