is a full-time, nine-month, hands-on training in how to make change in systems.

The process of leadership involves both diagnosis and action. Leaders are highly effective at diagnosing, and then intervening at leverage points in, systems in order to solve systemic problems. As actors in the very systems they are seeking to change, leaders must also be highly effective at diagnosing and intervening in themselves. In the midst of action, the leader has to be able to reflect on her own attitudes and behavior to better calibrate interventions into the complex dynamics of an organization or community. The Coro training includes four main parts: self/system diagnosis and self/system intervention, with learning outcomes tied to each part.

Awareness Workshops focus on diagnosing the self in order for Fellows to clarify who they are–their values and beliefs, their purpose and their natural talents–from which to build their Individual Strategic Plans and co-design their Catalytic Projects.

Civic Strategy Sessions focus on diagnosing the systems that shape community issues. Fellows work together as a group to create and manage their own learning agenda using interviews and other forms of structured group dialogue. Topics have included affordable housing, transportation and workforce development, infrastructure and the environment, education, youth, and public safety. Fellows engage with various community leaders and subject matter experts to explore the leverage points where they can make change in the system.

Catalytic Projects focus on intervening in systems. A project is catalytic when it creates opportunities for others to get involved and contribute their talents towards an ultimate result, which may be realized after the Fellow completes her work. Projects give Coro Fellows the opportunity to co-design system interventions and collaborate with various organizations to implement and learn from the project. Each Fellow is engaged for a total of 30 weeks on one or more projects hosted by Coro partners.

Individual Strategic Plans focus on intervening in self in order to consistently perform at one’s best.  Having an individual strategic learning plan with active support from mentors is essential for Fellows to develop confidence and competence in their work.  Mentoring is ongoing throughout the program. Coro connects Fellows with a network of mentors, often Coro alumni, who fulfill a variety of functions, including:

  • Helping participants take advantage of opportunities for professional development.
  • Coaching participants to see their strengths and navigate obstacles.
  • Protecting participants from negative career outcomes or damaging consequences in the community.
  • Supporting participants in developing and implementing their catalytic projects.

Time Commitment – The Fellows Program in Public Affairs is a full-time program with nine months of rigorous training and activity, from August to May. The average weekly time commitment is estimated at 60 hours, although this can vary greatly depending on specific projects in which the Fellows are involved. As such, Fellows are encouraged not to obtain employment outside of Coro while participating in the program.

The core value- Nurture Leadership excites me the most because I believe it will awaken a sense of purpose and help me become an better leader.

Patrice L. McKenzie, '15


All applicants selected into the Pittsburgh program receive a full tuition scholarship and a monthly living stipend of $1,300.


Endowed by Coro Pittsburgh Board Member Wayne Cobb (Fellow ’03), the Cobb Counsel Coro Fellow Scholarship was founded to provide support and consideration to qualified African-American candidates selected for the Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs at the Coro Center for Civic Leadership, Pittsburgh.

The award, which varies by year, can be used by the recipient to offset the costs of living expenses during the program year. Any individual accepted into the program who self-identifies as Black or African-American may apply for the scholarship.

26 S. 27th Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15203