The 2021 Lead for America Fellowship is now accepting applications.
NOTE: If you apply using the Handshake “Apply” button, we will contact you regarding next steps for the application. To be fully considered for the fellowship, all candidates must complete Lead For America’s external application on AirTable. To begin the fellowship application, follow this link.
Who We Are
A single visionary leader rooted in humility can change a community. Many working together can transform our country.
From the COVID-19 crisis to intergenerational poverty and ecological devastation, the challenges facing our communities and nation are immense. And our communities and public institutions––the very things designed to confront these challenges, give every American a chance at a better life, and care for those who can’t care for themselves––are crumbling exactly when we need them most.
Lead For America’s Fellows program builds the leadership force we need to address these challenges at scale, to change the narrative of success and worth in our country, and to ensure that every child has a chance at a better life, no matter their neighborhood or family circumstances.
The program is a paid, two-year fellowship for dynamic and diverse leaders who return to their hometown communities and home states to work full-time alongside local public institutions implementing proven strategies to improve community wellbeing.
There are two fellowships in St. Louis – Policy & Partnership Fellow and Small Business Fellow
Policy & Partnership Fellow
This fellow will be placed within the St. Louis Vacancy Collaborative (VC) which is a coalition of community members, private and non-profit stakeholders, and City agencies committed to reducing vacant property in St. Louis. They exist to harness the power of coordination to create new forms of equitable development, support neighborhood-led planning, improve community health, and encourage alternative land uses that create community assets. Since 2018, the Collaborative has grown from a volunteer steering committee into a multi-stakeholder coalition of over 40 organizations, 12 City departments, and hundreds of volunteers. The Collaborative is currently supported by 1 full-time staff person and two AmeriCorps Volunteers. As they look to expand and deepen the VC’s work, the Policy & Partnership Fellow will help identify long-term, sustainable funding sources, define a clear governance structure for our work and solidify our relationships with key partners, including Green City Coalition (GCC) and their efforts to develop a community land trust in the City of St. Louis.
- Guide the Vacancy Advisory Committee in developing procedures and systems for effective VC governance that recognizes the autonomy and voice of community members and the coalition partner organizations
- Identify funding opportunities (grants, donations, and/or fee-for-service) for long-term support of the Vacancy Collaborative’s role as a convener and collective impact coalition.
- Assist in developing the VC’s next work plan, defining measurable goals, and creating a system for ongoing monitoring of success;
- Support the VC’s six working groups (Anti-displacement, Data, Marketing & Engagement, Reinvestment & Reuse, Stabilization Maintenance & Demolition, and Vacancy Prevention) in monitoring progress, and with connecting to additional partners or resources needed to meet goals;
- Identify funding sources as needed to accomplish work plan goals related to vacancy reduction or prevention.
- Support key partners in facilitating community meetings and conversations with the implementation of a community-based land trust as a tools for redevelopment and preventing displacement in high vacancy neighborhoods;
- Work with the trust’s partners, board, and staff with efforts to increase neighborhood and resident representation and participation in planning and development related to vacancy reduction and property reuse;
- Assist partners in developing and disseminating related communication tools.
Small Business Fellow
The Fellow will be placed with the community organization, Beyond Housing, Inc., to assist in the design and implementation of a program to aid small businesses in the 24:1 (the boundaries of the Normandy School District). The program seeks to accomplish two major objectives.
- First, the program will provide small businesses with affordable access to business assistance resources such as financial management, e-commerce, marketing, human resources, and others that are needed to help attain success.
- Second, the program will provide a series of events known as the 24:1 Small Business Network to provide educational programs, networking with peers, and social connections in an effort to strengthen the network of small businesses in the 24:1.
The Fellow will work to refine and implement a program that helps increase the success of
small businesses in the 24:1. Recent engagement with over 1,000 residents and stakeholders of
the 24:1 identified successful small businesses as a top priority for improvement. Many businesses
in the 24:1 need assistance to achieve sustainable success, but few can afford to engage the
needed expertise. Under the guidance of the Economic Development leader at Beyond Housing,
the Fellow will refine the ideas for providing business assistance and flesh out the programs.
First Round Deadline: May 15th
Semifinalist Deadline: May 29th
Finalist Interviews: June 6th-7th
Endorsed Finalist Selection: June 14th
First Round Deadline: June 15th
Finalist Interviews: June 16th-23rd
Endorsed Finalist Selection: July 2nd
-Be a U.S. Citizen, National, or Lawful Permanent Resident.
-If in college, be on track to earn an undergraduate degree by June 2021, and if graduated, have earned an undergraduate degree in 2012 or later (this may include an associate degree).
-Be able to make a full-time commitment (the fellowship is a full-time job).
Learn More & Contact Us
To learn more about the fellowship program or LFA, please see here.
To schedule a call with an LFA Fellow, please see here.
If you do not see an email from LFA after submitting your registration in the LFA application portal, please check your spam folder.