The 2021 Lead for Kansas Fellowship is now accepting applications.
NOTE: If you apply using the Handshake “Apply” button, we will contact you regarding the next steps for the application. To be fully considered for the fellowship, all candidates must complete Lead For Kansas’ external application on AirTable. To begin the fellowship application, follow this link. Lead For Kansas believes that in order to enact transformational change, leaders must make a long-term commitment to the places they serve. For this reason, LFKS requires candidates to have a significant tie to Kansas or the surrounding rural communities and could see themselves serving the region in the long run.
Who We Are
A single visionary leader rooted in humility can change a community. Many working together can transform our country.
Lead for Kansas works to ensure that our state’s most dynamic and diverse young leaders are working on our toughest challenges. We believe that with the right leadership in the right places, we can reimagine the American Dream in a way that is:
Shared. Where we all have strong communal ties and a common aspiration of equity and justice for all.
Accessible. Where everyone has a chance at economic and civic mobility, no matter their zip code; and
Sustainable. Where our education system and public institutions are well positioned to grow and sustain the next generation of leadership that will be responsible for solving problems that we cannot yet see.
Focusing on issues like civic engagement, rural broadband access, digital literacy and economic development while working to make returning to your hometown possible and not the exception to the rule, Lead For Kansas will fill in the gaps and focus on growth. These tools will directly impact how communities communicate and grow to empower this and the next generation.
Lead For Kansas’ 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 everyone has a chance at a better life, no matter their 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.
LFKS Fellows should have a good working knowledge of technology, broadband internet systems and economic development.
LFKS Fellows are community activators. You work to revitalize your community and show that another way of leading and living—rooted in love and collective wellbeing—is possible. The fellowship is structured to cultivate your personal leadership development, amplify your community impact, and support you in strengthening the civic fabric of your hometown for the long term. We truly view our Fellows as co-creators and partners in developing and strengthening Kansas.
The fellowship is based around 4 components:
Project Scope: Fellows work full time alongside local public institutions, community nonprofits, and/or civically-minded local businesses to tackle narrowing the digital divide in Nebraska. Project scopes will focus on rural broadband access and expansion, rural economic development and work surround those efforts.
Leadership Development + Support: Fellows participate in a graduate level Catalyst Institute where they learn alongside professionals, academics, and social sector leaders across a multitude of fields, and receive leadership development, equity, and character-building training. Administered in partnership with Tufts University’s Tisch College of Civic Life, Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and the University of Minnesota, past Catalyst Institute have included over 60 speakers from all over the country, including Brookings Institution Centennial Scholar Bruce Katz, Nobel Peace Prize Nominee Amanda Nguyen, and the nationally renowned Mayor of Ithaca Svante Myrick. Fellows also engage in ongoing training, mentorship, support, and retreats throughout their two years of service and become part of a close knit group of young leaders working for community revitalization across the country.
Listening Tour: Fellows conduct a Listening Tour of their community to identify areas where their unique talents and passions can serve greater community needs and make the most impact.
Multiplier Effect: Fellows will identify emerging opportunities for their communities and mobilize others to seize them and invest in their communities alongside them. Fellows are expected to recruit an additional 5-10 young leaders to return, move to, or become activated to serve in their home community
The application for pre-confirmed positions (where specific placements have already been secured by LFKS in particular communities) are now open.
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 2011 or later (this may include an associate degree).
Be able to make a full-time commitment (the fellowship is a full-time job).
Have an explicit connection to Kansas. This could be your true home state or adopted home state.