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Chargers Announce 3rd Annual Donald H. Yee Fellowship Program


Michael Bae graduated from the University of Michigan this week with a degree in Sport Management.

But he also had incredible NFL experience on his resumé after spending nearly two months with the Bolts as part of the Donald H. Yee Fellowship in the summer of 2022.

The fellowship aims to create more opportunities for leaders from the Asian-American Pacific-Islander community to pursue careers in NFL front offices.

Bae, who is of Korean descent, said a path into sports isn't exactly the norm in his culture.

"When I told some of my relatives that I was going to study sport management … they didn't really understand the concept," Bae said. "For me, as I go through my career, I want to normalize the presence of Asian Americans within NFL front offices. I want to pay it forward how Don Yee did for me."

Mynina Stewart, who served as the fellow in the summer of 2023, feels the exact same way as Bae.

"It was an incredible experience for me," said Stewart, who is both Filipino and Black. "I'm very supportive of the push for more diversity and inclusion and to open doors for people with backgrounds like mine.

"I was really grateful for the opportunity, especially to Don Yee, for opening doors for people with an Asian American background," Stewart continued. "It feels good to know that there are people who are looking out for us … you don't hear about many Asians in the sports industry and sometimes they can be a forgotten group.

"I hope to see more of these types of programs in sports and in football specifically," Stewart added.

As the summer of 2024 approaches, the Chargers are once again hosting the program that runs for nearly two months from July through the end of August.

Interested applicants can apply here for the 2024 Donald H. Yee Fellowship, which provides unrivaled experience in an NFL front office.

The Bolts launched the program in 2022 in conjunction with Yee, a UCLA and University of Virginia School of Law graduate who represents numerous athletes including Tom Brady.

Bae and Stewart each spent time in various departments within the Bolts front office ranging from football operations to video to the scouting staff.

They each helped John Wiedmeier, the Chargers Director of Football Operations, coordinate logistics for both team travel and training camp while also helping players get settled in off the field.

Mynina Stewart (middle) was with the Chargers as part of the 2023 Donald H. Yee Fellowship.
Mynina Stewart (middle) was with the Chargers as part of the 2023 Donald H. Yee Fellowship.

Stewart, who will complete her Master's Degree at Concordia University Irvine in December, was so impacted by the experience that she switched her career focus from football video to football operations.

"I was kind of able to put my hands everywhere that I had interest in, which was great," Stewart said. "The program was really beneficial and I learned a lot.

"It was my first experience in a professional team setting so it was eye opening," Stewart added. "But it left me with wanting to keep pursuing this direction and gave me more insight on the path I want to go on."

Bae noted that he thoroughly enjoyed getting a behind the scenes look at the scouting process.

He was able to sit down with Jaylen Bannerman-Oden, Ethan Brodsky and Alex Stern and learn what to look for when scouting a player.

"I was able to sit in on some of their scouting meetings after training camp practices," Bae said. "Jaylen kind of helped me watch film and we broke it down together."

"I really enjoyed the scouting aspect. It was my first time getting exposure to that," Bae added. "Seeing how scouts evaluate players and some of the terminology they use, the traits they look for, I found it to be really interesting and something I may be interested down the line."

Michael Bae was with the Chargers as part of the 2022 Donald H. Yee Fellowship.
Michael Bae was with the Chargers as part of the 2022 Donald H. Yee Fellowship.

Bae, who plans to go to law school in a year or two, said he hopes to pursue an NFL career in either scouting or on the legal side.

As both Bae and Stewart prepare for the real world after college, both do so already holding invaluable professional experience.

The duo credited Ed McGuire, the Chargers Executive Vice President of Football Administration/Player Finance, and his staff for being so welcoming and interested in helping them learn.

"My favorite part about being with the Chargers was the people. Everyone I worked under were just really nice and genuine people," Bae said. "They were really intentional and genuine with how they helped me out. A lot of internships, maybe you're kind of just going through the motions. But they really cared and it was just an awesome experience."

He later added: "It was a big opportunity for me and just opened so many doors. Having those connections has made such a difference."

Stewart echoed Bae's sentiment and said she was excited for the 2024 fellow to have the same great experience she did.

"It says a lot to the culture of the Chargers that everyone is very opening and welcoming," Stewart added. "Everyone is there to support you and help you reach your goals no matter what they are."

Click here to apply for the 2024 Donald H. Yee Fellowship.

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