At this time of urgency
... local leadership is more important than ever. In their commitment to place and community, these locally-rooted luminaries will call those around them towards a more community-centered approach. We focus on channeling Fellows back home to locations where the narrative of success means leaving and never coming back.
But local leadership — particularly in economically distressed communities — is rapidly aging, often lacks representation from its diverse populations, and is struggling to attract the next generation of talent necessary to address our nation’s most significant challenges. Lead For America is working to build pathways into public service — and back home — for leaders nationwide.
These leaders commit to a practice of convergent leadership and recognize the beautiful weight of the commitment they are undertaking: to radically transform their community through full-hearted engagement and participation.
Annabell Camacho, Hometown Fellow '19
"I love Lead For America because I am able to leave work every day feeling fulfilled by the positive changes happening at the local level in my community."
— Annabell Camacho, Fellow
John Cooper, Hometown Fellow '19
Hometown Fellows return to a place they call home to serve for two years in high-impact, high-urgency placements while building up the community ecosystem of their hometown.
State-Based Fellows join a cohort of young leaders to saturate a state’s community institutions in service of a more cohesive, collaborative statewide infrastructure.
Extension Fellows take on a community project of critical need in the community they call home.
Evan Bonsall, Hometown Fellow '19
We focus on helping Fellows reinvest themselves in their hometown communities, in places where the narrative of success has often meant leaving and never coming back.
Our Inaugural Fellowship Class
54 Fellows serving communities & regions they call home in 21 States
Selected from more than 800 Applicants at 200 Colleges & Universities
34% serving in rural communities and towns with a population under 10,000
53% non-white | 33% first-generation college students
43% Pell grant eligible | 64% women or non-binary | 28% LGBTQ
2 Military Veterans | 5 Truman, Udall, and Gates Scholars