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Apply for the Manati Fellowship Program by August 21.

Manati is a fellowship program designed to support single-site charter school leaders in acquiring the necessary skills for sustaining and growing their school. Manati–the Swahili word for catapult–is representative of our goal to provide leaders with the resources to grow in both performance and scale to support student success.

2022-2023 Manati Fellowship Cohort 2 – Applications are now open!

Apply today!

What is the National Charter Collaborative (NCC)?
The National Charter Collaborative (NCC) supports single-site charter network leaders of color whose schools reflect the hopes and dreams of their students and the cultural fabric of their communities. Charter school leaders of color are a critical yet overlooked collective representing an estimated one-fourth of charter schools impacting over 335,000 students across the U.S.

What is Manati?
Manati is a fellowship program to support single-site charter school leaders in acquiring the necessary skills to sustain and grow their school(s). This fellowship will center on creating a peer community of school leaders of color who will connect and collaborate on pressing issues faced in single-site schools. Fellows will develop shareable and scalable solutions to those problems with best-in-class subject matter experts and service providers, pilot and iterate on those designs in real-time during the school year, and capture processes and lessons learned to scale these solutions across the broader National Charter Collaborative (NCC) network. As a result of the Manati experience and ongoing engagement with the NCC community, each Fellow’s impact will be accelerated and even catapulted.

Who Should Apply?
School leaders of color who serve as senior-level leaders in your organization/ school and report directly to the Board of Directors/ Trustees.

Manati Fellowship Structure
The information below represents a high-level overview of the Manati Fellowship structure.
  • The Manati Fellowship is an 18-month leadership journey with quarterly convenings, beginning in the Fall of 2022 and ending in the Winter of 2023
  • Session 1: October 18-21, 2022 – Atlanta
  • Session 2: January 18-20, 2023 – Indianapolis
  • Session 3: April 26-28, 2023 – New Orleans
  • Session 4: July 19 – 21, 2023 – Virtual
  • Session 5: October 18- 20, 2023 – Virtual
  • Session 6: December 6-8, 2023 – D.C.
  • There will be a total of 7 – 10 Manati Fellows.
  • The fellowship includes travel to multiple cities for school visits
  • Fundamental to the fellowship experiences is participation in a “powerful learning conference.”

Defining Success: Goals & Competencies
Manati Fellowship goals are specific to the fellowship’s three pillars: Leadership Development, Community, and School Design. The Leadership Development arm of the Manati Fellowship is designed to build capacity and competency. For details regarding the fellowship goals and competencies, please visit here.
Goals of the Application
During this phase of the selection process, we’re looking to:
  • Create the space for personal reflection on impact to date and long-term visioning
  • Learn about the future you envision
Components of the Application
Please carve out no more than one hour to complete your application starting on July 18, 2022. The application will collect:
  • Basic demographic information
  • Background Information
  • A one-way interview completed through Spark Hire. The process is simple. We created a few questions for you to answer via webcam or mobile device. You can download the Spark Hire mobile app for your iOS or Android. Please limit interview answers to 3-5 min per question.
  • A vision of student success through the creation of a vision board
Vision Board Submission
Before beginning this application, please spend time to create a vision board that best answers the following questions. You will be asked to upload or provide a link to your vision board in the application.
Guiding Question: “Imagine your school/network five years from now. How will you know if your school has been successful?”
  • Think of this as a vision board for your school/organization that shares the past, the present, and where you hope to be.
  • You can only include five artifacts on this vision board. The artifacts should best describe your vision for your school/organization five years from now.
  • Each artifact may consist of a 100-word maximum description.
  • The intention is not to create new work products but to use existing content, such as photos, social media posts, personal statements, blog posts, or maybe a presentation.
  • All artifacts should fit on one page (8.5X11) and be saved as a pdf document to be uploaded or a URL provided.
How to Apply?
Follow this link to proceed to your application and video interview: Please make sure that you have completed your vision board before starting.

Deadline to Apply

Sunday, August 21, 2022, at 11:59 pm

This 18-month program will center on creating a peer community of school leaders of color who will connect and collaborate on pressing issues faced as single-site schools, develop shareable scalable solutions to those problems with best in class subject matter experts and service providers, pilot and iterate on those designs in real time during the school year, and capture processes and lessons learned so that these solutions can be scaled across the broader network of National Charter Collaborative.


In addition to collaborative design, Fellows will participate in conversations and coursework to develop more as leaders. This module will include tailored conversations on authentic leadership, group coaching and elective individualized coaching. The leadership development module will supplement the fellows’ collaborative work and will round out the fellowship experience.


The fellowship is designed to support a cohort of leaders in advancing the performance and outcomes of their schools with the broader goal of increasing the impact of their efforts to serve more students through growth and expansion.
Why a Fellowship?
Single-site charter school leaders work in isolation without the benefit of supports. For single-site leaders of color, the challenge is even more pronounced due to a lack of access to a network, resources and funding. Specifically, our research demonstrates a need for support in five key areas:


• Fundraising
• Teacher talent development
• Student academic and behavioral supports
• Finance and operations
• Innovation


The need for supports in the above core areas combined with the opportunity to employ the network effect to create solutions that can be shared across multiple schools creates the optimal environment for a fellowship program.


Manati is an opportunity to not only support leaders in acquiring skills to better manage sustainable single-site schools, but also to engage them in co-creating solutions to unique problems of practice and build plans for scale.
Program Components
The series of sessions on commUNITY will focus on building relational trust and what it looks like to lead authentically as a person of color. We will focus acutely on our lived experiences, the skin we are in, and how each of these things impacts how we lead.


In the collaborative design studio, we will combine elements of the problem-solving methodologies of the equityXdesign framework, the Stanford d.School’s Design Process as well as Digital Promise’s school district collaborative design model. By combining the design process with the fellows’ peer community, and the NCC Expert Web, we will create a one-of-a-kind design experience. Manati Fellows will be responsible for crafting a solution to the shared problem of practice; an implementation plan for this solution within their individual schools; and a scaling strategy for the solution, either through an established program at the school, or a replication plan for the entire school.


The leadership development module is comprised of two components: personalized coaching and business and operations coursework. We will administer our proprietary NCC School Leadership Assessment to identify the areas of most need for each Fellow.


In addition, we will work with each leader individually to assess opportunities for growth and expansion to serve more students. Each leader will develop a plan that considers supports and resources that will enable scaling their work.
Program Experience
Throughout the program year, Manati Fellows will foster a peer-to-peer community of trust, engage with top notch service providers and leadership coaches, and design a solution to a shared problem of practice. In order to deliver on this ambitious plan, Manati will offer a host of experiences:


Quarterly Program Retreats: Quarterly program retreats will include a mix of cohort discussions, problem-solving consultancies, article and book discussions, conversations with other leaders, and design workshops. Prior to the retreat sessions together, Fellows will have required pre-reading and homework to complete.


Monthly Leadership Coaching: After completing the initial leadership assessment, Fellows will work collaboratively with their matched coach to build a personalized playlist of coaching topics and determine a plan for engaging in business/operations coursework


School-wide pilots and monthly check-ins: Fellows will launch their solution designs in the school year. Manati program staff will meet with Fellows and conduct school visits to ensure seamless solution implementation and to offer support as needed.


Exhibition of Learning: At the end of the Fellowship experience, Manati Fellows will present their shared solution, lessons earned, and future plan for growth with an audience comprised of current charter school leaders of color, potential future leaders of color, and other stakeholders in the field (foundation representative, nonprofit partners, et al).

Meet Our First Cohort!

Our first Manati Fellowship cohort hales from Washington DC, in partnership with
Charlotte Spann
Charlotte Spann

Executive Director of Schools
Paul Public Charter School

Kathryn Procope
Kathryn Procope

Head of School
Howard University Middle School of Mathematics and Science

Marco Clark
Marco Clark

Founder & CEO
Richard Wright Public Charter School for Journalism and Media Arts

Rasheki Kuykendall-Walker
Rasheki Kuykendall-Walker

Founding Teacher
Roots Public Charter School

Regina Rodriguez
Regina Rodriguez

Executive Director & Head of School-
Shining Stars Montessori Academy School

Shawn Hardnett
Shawn Hardnett

Founder & Executive Director
Statesmen College Preparatory Academy for Boys