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2024 Prenatal-To-Three (PN-3) Leaders Fellowship

Leaders working in the prenatal to age three (PN-3) field play an integral role in maintaining the health and wellness of our young children, families, and communities and in moving us all towards a healthier, more equitable future. Rockwood is proud to partner with the Pritzker Children’s Initiative to support the leadership development of state-level leaders focused on PN-3 policy priorities and build a strong national network of emergent and established leaders.  

About The Fellowship

The fully-funded Fellowship will bring together leaders from the public and private sectors that are committed to supporting PN-3 systems change through sustainable, transformative leadership practices. Leaders from all 50 states are encouraged to apply, with prioritization of leaders working with PCI-funded state coalitions in AR, CA, DC, GA, IL, LA, MD, MI, NE, NJ, NM, NV, NY, NC, OH, OR, PA, RI, SC, TX, WA and WI. The cohort will attend two rigorous five-day retreats to cultivate important leadership skills like visioning, stress management, and establishing effective partnerships and will receive professional and peer coaching support. Fellows will form deep connections with others in the PN-3 movement and build a sense of community that is essential to doing this work effectively and sustainably.  


All in-person residential retreat sessions and locations are subject to change as we respond to COVID-19. We prioritize the safety and well-being of participants and are following the most up-to-date public health recommendations. 

  • SESSION 1: Monday, May 20 – Friday, May 24th, 2024 (In-person) 
  • SESSION 2: Monday, August 12 – Friday, August 16th, 2024 (In-person)

Attendance at all sessions is required for participation in the Fellowship.


J.K. Nelson

J.K. Nelson has wide and deep experience as a manager in various arenas, ranging from electoral organizing, high-performing nonprofits, labor organizing, and educational advocacy spaces. J.K. has helped mobilize over 5 million people over the course of his organizing career. His management practice is undergoing ongoing refinement in the crucible of many past, present, and—most assuredly—future mistakes. J.K.’s managerial experience runs the spectrum including building teams from scratch, inheriting teams, managing complex organizational change, managing toward ambitious/inspiring goals, and managing major organizational cultural shifts. Additionally, J.K. has managed in diverse organizational structures including both hierarchical and matrixed formulations and everything in between. J.K.’s trainings are marked by high energy, transparency and humor. Ever practical, he is deeply committed to equipping participants with managerial best practices that they could learn in the early morning and implement in the late morning. J.K. is dedicated to seeing every manager reach their full leadership potential. J.K. earned his undergraduate degree at Vanderbilt University and an M.Div at Harvard Divinity School. 

Izumi Yamamoto

Izumi is a leadership trainer, facilitator and executive coach with over two decades of experience working alongside leaders across cultures and sectors. Her professional background spans four continents which brings a diverse perspective to her work integrating inner and outer leadership practices and matters of the soul. She is a co-founder and president of Perennial where she serves as the lead trainer and coach for senior leaders and executive teams in Asia, America, Africa and the Middle East to elevate their effectiveness of leadership and collaborations in their work. An ardent practitioner of meditation, she has guided leaders in deepening their own inner well-being practices to lead with greater awareness and aliveness. She is based in Seattle, Washington. 


    Up to two virtual Community Calls will support participants’ relationship building and learning outside of the structured training session time. Participants will have the opportunity to practice tools and skills they learned from the sessions as well as deepen their relationships and connections across the cohort.
    Coaching is both an important leadership skill and a resource for social change leaders. During the Fellowship, leaders will be partnered with other Fellows to engage in a peer coaching relationship over the course of the program.
    Individual coaching combined with intensive training supports participants to integrate changes back home and at work. Each participant will have access to up to two coaching sessions with one of the program’s Trainers during the program. 


Full tuition, accommodations, and all meals during the residential training sessions are covered by Rockwood. Each Fellow will have up to $2000 total for the Fellowship to reimburse expenses they need to participate, such as travel costs. There is an additional pool of reimbursement funds available to help offset costs for family care and accessibility needs during the program.  

Rockwood expects that organizations, employers, and supervisors will provide support for participants to be fully present and attend the trainings. We encourage applicants to, as part of the application process, ask their organizations for the additional resources they may need to fully participate in the training.  


Those most impacted by injustice have critical perspectives on how to make services and systems more just and equitable. Therefore, this Fellowship intends to center the leadership of those with lived experience of inequities in the prenatal-to-3 field. We will be curating a cohort of 20 participants who are representative of and connected to historically underinvested-in communities, including leaders who are BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, immigrants, and/or have disabilities who: 

  • Are public and private sector leaders who are currently engaged in state-level policy and strategy related to PN-3 priorities.  
  • Have experience in the early childhood field, with some specific engagement on PN-3 issues.
  • Reflect a mix of sectors across childcare, health, family support, and economic security.
  • Are committed to building partnership and collaboration across the early childhood field, contributing to transforming systemic power, and advancing PN-3 systems change.
  • Possess a personal and professional readiness to learn new leadership skills, including being open to peer and self-examination of leadership strengths, challenges, and styles.
  • Have a commitment to developing the leadership of others.
  • Commit to full participation in the program, including attendance at all retreats and completing required pre- and post-retreat work.
  • Contribute to creating an inclusive cohort that is diverse in terms of race, gender identity, sexual orientation, organizational strategy, and focus.  

*Pritzker Children’s Initiative grantees and non-grantees are encouraged to apply. 


Selected nominees who fit this year’s criteria will be invited to complete an application. Select applicants will then participate in an interview. Up to 20 leaders will be selected for the final Fellowship cohort by March 2024.  

Please email Ally Tufenkjian at [email protected] with any questions. 

Rockwood Community Call

Cecily Rose Engelhart

Life Coach and Speaker

July 25 | 12 PT / 3 ET