Department of Economics

The Brown University Economics DUG High School Fellowship

When asked what economists study, most high school students will answer "stock prices and interest rates."  In reality, Economists study a far wider range of topics, and that is especially true over the past twenty years with the growing availability of large datasets and the tools to analyze them. Students in Econ classes are just as likely to learn about the harmful effects of lead on the trajectories of children who grew up in poverty, or the drivers of intergenerational mobility in regions across Africa, as the more traditional Economic subjects.

In order to offer high schoolers a window into the many topics now studied in Economics, students who lead our Departmental Undergraduate Group (DUG) have started a Summer High School Fellowship program.

The Brown University Economics DUG High School Fellowship offers an opportunity for high school students to deepen their understanding of economics and engage directly with Brown students, faculty, and alumni actively working in the field. The program is dedicated to accessibility, with a focus on showcasing economics beyond finance, emphasizing its role in policy and applied settings. Throughout the fellowship, students will gain foundational skills in economics, complete assignments covering microeconomic and macroeconomic applications, and have the chance to learn from distinguished Brown University professors and alumni, such as Professor John Friedman, Professor Kenneth Chay, and alumni Felix Tettey, who will share their experiences and research in economics.

The fellowship spans six weeks, allowing participants to establish connections with program facilitators and develop their confidence in asking and answering questions within a group setting. In its inaugural run, the fellowship included nine students from diverse backgrounds, providing enriching perspectives to the program.  Amaya Allen, Class of 2025 and incoming DUG Co-President, expressed how the fellowship has become a passion project for her. She says, "I never had access to economics when I was in high school and had no idea that I would concentrate in the field until I took Principles of Economics here at Brown. It was in this course that I realized how economics can begin to address many of the key global and social problems on which I plan to work. Creating this high school fellowship provided an opportunity for students who otherwise would not have access to economics to learn what the subject is and can be, hopefully serving to begin breaking down the barriers restricting students from getting involved with the field. It has been an amazing experience to see how these students engage with the material, ask questions, and think about key economic concepts using their own personal histories and backgrounds."  Amaya is hopeful that the fellowship will expand and become an integral part of the Econ DUG and the Brown Economics Department.

Alivia-Rae Green, one of the participants in the fellowship, shares her experience: "The Fellowship has opened my eyes to the various intriguing aspects of economics. I have learned how to think critically and formulate new ways to view the world around me. Basic economic terms to complex conversations with current Brown professors has not only solidified my interest in pursuing economics, but has reinforced my passion to learn and grow from the lessons that the theories within economics can provide. Overall, the Brown Economics DUG High School Fellowship is a tremendous step towards exposing future generations to the vast marvel of economics and forge that new age perspective on how we want our world to function."

The Brown University Economics DUG High School Fellowship not only offers an exceptional learning experience but also represents the spirit of inclusivity. Through the dedication of its facilitators like Amaya, the participation of students like Alivia-Rae, and the support of the Brown Economics Department and alumni, the program opens doors to economics, making it accessible for students from all walks of life.