About this Job
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 ages 21-30 who return to their hometown communities and home states to work full-time alongside local public institutions implementing proven strategies to improve community wellbeing.
Lead For America (LFA) and the American Connection Project (ACP) are teaming up to mobilize young leaders to return to their hometowns to coordinate broadband development & digital inclusion locally, and across the country. The American Connection Corps (ACC) will be the nation’s largest fellowship program focused on bridging the digital divide. Fifty American Connection Corps Fellows will serve in select states in a two-year pilot initiative. As part of the national network, ACC Fellows will have access to premiere national training on community organizing, broadband and digital inclusion, and a network of young homecomers nationwide. Host communities will be featured in national news outlets and will help inform the work of the American Connection Project Policy Coalition.
ACC Fellows will serve their home communities in locations nationwide through high-impact, high-urgency two-year placements focused on closing the digital divide and building the next generation of leaders. Fellows will also participate in LFA’s national Changemaker Summit, attend quarterly retreats, receive 1:1 expert mentorship, and join a growing community of young local leaders.
American Connection Corps Fellows will be supporting broadband efforts across 12 states in 2021. Fellows and their hosts must be located in one of the following states to participate.
For some Fellows, their project scopes will be coordinating local partners to access federal and state resources for broadband access. In others, it means delivering digital literacy to those most marginalized. Through the multiplier effect, Fellows will capture compelling local stories, and connect young people to newly identified opportunities. Fellows will be mentored to develop a community venture, which could be starting a business, nonprofit, or community group that addresses local needs and fulfills their individual passions.
The fellowship is based on 4 components:
Project Scope: Fellows add capacity for their public institution to tackle a community-identified “grand challenge”. By working within public institutions they will gain access to and develop an understanding of the key roles that they can play in growing & sustaining a vibrant community.
Leadership Development + Support: Fellows participate in a summer 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.
Listening Tour + Community Venture: Fellows conduct a Listening Tour of their community to identify areas where their unique talents and passions can serve greater community needs and inspire them to launch a Community Venture.
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.
Cycle 1 (Applicant-Led)
First Round Deadline: Nov. 15th
Semifinalist Deadline: Nov. 29th
Finalist Interviews: Dec. 10th-11th
Endorsed Finalist Selection: Dec. 18th
Cycle 2 (Pre-Confirmed)
First Round Deadline: Feb. 22nd
Semifinalist Deadline: March 12th
Finalist Interviews: Mar. 18th-25th
Endorsed Finalist Selection: Mar. 26th
Cycle 3 (Pre-Confirmed)
First Round Deadline: May 15th
Semifinalist Deadline: May 29th
Finalist Interviews: June 6th-7th
Endorsed Finalist Selection: June 14th
-Be a US Citizen, Permanent Resident, or DACA Recipient.
-Be under the age of 30 in June 2021 (this requirement can be flexible if you are a few years older than 30 but otherwise believe you are a compelling candidate)
-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.
About Lead for America
Lead for America recruits, trains, and places our nation’s most promising young leaders in community leadership positions in their hometowns and regions struggling to attract & retain talent.