The Roosevelt Institute’s Forge Fellowship

The Forge Fellowship seeks to empower a new generation of young leaders like our late friend Reese Neader, who enthusiastically envision and push for progressive policy change at the local level.

Last month, the Roosevelt Network launched the Forge Fellowship, a summer fellows program extended to students who do not have an existing Roosevelt chapter on their community college or university campus.


This Fellowship honors my late friend and mentor Reese Neader, who served as the
Network’s National Policy Director when I joined Roosevelt in 2010. Throughout his life, Reese worked in communities across the country whose voices were not being heard in national politics by building civic infrastructure in order to address the unique challenges faced by these communities. After hearing that Reese had passed in December 2016, we decided to create a fellowship that would honor our friend’s legacy.

Read more about Reese and his life’s work: [1] [2]

The groundwork for the Forge Fellowship was laid in 2017 by Roosevelt Network Alumni, and earlier this year we strengthened collaboration with the Roosevelt Institute and Reese’s community in Columbus, Ohio to finalize the design of this exciting opportunity to empower students. Applications will be open to students through April 20, 2018.


As an alum of the Roosevelt Network, I’ll serve as a mentor for the incoming class of Forge Fellows (community college and public university students). Mentors check in with Fellows to offer avenues of support for the Fellow’s policy project and to connect them with resources across Reese’s Wolfpack: a coalition of Roosevelt alums and Reese’s broader network, including his family, friends, and the Forge Columbus and Kiva Columbus communities.

Knowing Reese during my years as an undergraduate at ASU helped me to connect the dots with regard to how policy can be used as a driver for social change, and how I can play a role in that process personally. Reese’s guidance and advocacy was key to our Roosevelt chapter at ASU securing funding for a regional conference on Sustainability, and for our chapter’s policy initiative on Urban Agriculture. 

Over the years, I’ve continued to feel inspired by the change that students can affect when equipped with the support of the Roosevelt Institute. I’m so proud to see the Forge Fellowship continue Reese’s legacy.taking-root1-captioned

Spread the word and Donate to the Forge Fellowship

  • Encourage students to apply for the Forge Fellowship here!Since this Fellowship is offered to students at campuses without existing Roosevelt Chapters, WE NEED YOUR HELP to get the word out to students!
    • The application deadline is April 20, 2018.
  • Donate here to support the Forge Fellows!Your tax-deductible donation will go directly to fund the incoming class of Forge Fellows as they push for progressive policy change at the local level.

Donate QR Code-horizontalIf you have any questions about the Roosevelt Institute or the Forge Fellowship, please don’t hesitate to reach out. I hope to hear from you.

Forge On,

Joshua Judd

Prime Advice

Don’t stay up so late.

Ask authentic questions,


Create strong and honest relationships.

Make meaningful plans,


Be happy to see people.

Express genuine gratitude,


Acknowledge how another has triumphed.

Show candid compassion,


Take Your Time

Don’t let the world convince you that because you didn’t leave everything behind and move to a different state or country and start a new life that you’re not living your dream. If you’re convinced that you have to get up and go in order to pursue the life you’ve always wanted, by all means, go for it. But take the time to make sure it’s the right choice. Many dreams come true simply by sticking around long enough to understand how the pieces of our lives are supposed to fit together.

Goodbye, friend.

Goodbye RadarWednesday afternoon I said goodbye to my best friend and the greatest companion animal I’ve ever known: my Radar Dog. It’s truly unbelievable the circumstances in which we sometimes find ourselves, and this month has been full of them for me.

To make a long story short, I had to find Radar a new home. The woman who adopted him absolutely adores him and she’s going to dote on him day in and day out, which is what he needs. It’s one of the toughest decisions I’ve ever made, but I know it’s what is best for him.

Goodbye, Radar. I love ya, little guy.

Naming the Toasters

Macs and iPhones over the years

  • Van Gough: 15″ PowerBook G4
  • da Vinci: 13″ Macbook Air
  • Eleanor: 13″ Macbook Air
  • Infinite Loop: 11″ Macbook Air
  • Eve: Mac Mini
  • Valkill: iPhone 4
  • Jeejah: iPhone 4S
  • RGB Phone: iPhone 5

I don’t remember what my first few iPhones were named, and I still need to settle on a name for my current iPhone 6 Plus. It has turned out to be the best iPhone yet by far. After using an iPhone for 8 years, I’ve finally reached a level with the iOS keyboard where I can get close to 100% accuracy without looking at the screen while taking notes in Evernote. It’s quite magical. Voice dictation is also delightfully accurate now. Editing photos is a breeze.

My phone is now my computer and most of the time my computer is a glorified TV.

I’ve watched iPhone/iOS evolve since the beginning, and it’s not an understatement for Tim Cook to say “These are the best iPhones we’ve ever made,” even if he repeats it every year.

Too Rad to Fail

I’ve been told “It gets better.” I’ve even told others that it gets better. But has it? Has my life gotten better, does it feel more liveable than it used to? Yes, actually.

Life can be confusing as Hell, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t learned, progressed, and grown as a person. In college I entered a discipline that aims to provide insight and a pathway to knowledge. I know it’s okay to be uncertain about some of the big things in life and simultaneously know for certain that things have gotten better.

In the past I’ve echoed the sentiment of the Existentialists that, “Hell is other people.” It’s not. Sure, other people can be terrible. They can be cruel and heartless, careless and hateful. But more often than not, the other people in my life–my people–have always helped make things better.

They make me smile. They surprise me. They enlighten me. I love the people in my life. Especially those I’ve seen recently and those I’ve seen often over the past few years. They’re each a shining example to me of the good in the world.

I love y’all. Thanks for helping me keep calm, stay centered, and feel fabulous. Stay strong–y’all are too rad to fail.