CIVIC SPRING FELLOWSHIP

The Civic Spring Fellowship is an opportunity for young people to lead a community project this summer.

Fellowships fund up to $1,800 as individual youth stipends or $25,000 as grants to organizations. 

Young people play a critical role in strengthening our democracy today and for the long haul. Citizens & Scholars believes that community involvement is where that strengthening starts. By focusing on community projects as Civic Spring Fellows, young people are building skills to continue engaging and driving meaningful change for the long term. 

More Than Funding

As a Fellow, you’ll build a powerful network of peers, partners, experts, and corporate and government leaders who will help you maximize your impact. You’ll build your civic knowledge and skills, gaining on-the-ground experience in effecting change in your community.

The 2022 Civic Spring Fellowship has Two Classes

The National Program

Interested?

Learn more about Civic Spring: National
  • Grants up to $25,000 
  • For youth-led organizations or organizational partnerships from rural, urban, and suburban communities across the country
  • Youth participants should be between 15 and 24 
  • Projects must address a local need related to environmental justice, mental health, COVID-19, or the 2022 elections 
In Partnership with Levi Strauss & Co.

The Arizona program

interested?

Learn more about Civic Spring: Arizona
  • Stipends up to $1,800 per Fellow
  • For individual young people or small groups of 2-5 youth (age 15-24) in Maricopa County, AZ
  • Youth may be connected to an organization or entity or working in the community independently 
  • Projects must address a local need related to environmental justice, mental health, COVID-19, or the 2022 elections 
In Partnership with PayPal Arizona

"This project was amazing: Being able to work with so many important people and making a change in the world, especially during a pandemic, with other people my age. For our voices to be heard was just inspiring. I’ve met so many people who have changed my perspective in life."

-2020 Civic Spring Fellow

MORE INFORMATION

Fellowship Timeline & Expectations 

  • Every participant in Civic Spring 2022 will be considered a Fellow
  • Selected Fellowship projects must address a local need related to one
    of the four focus areas: environmental justice, mental health,
    2022 elections, and/or COVID-19 
  • Applications open April 4
  • Applications close April 29
  • Finalists will be notified by May 7
  • Selected Fellows will be notified by May 27
  • Ten-week fellowship period from June 6 – Aug 20 
  • Weekly meetings every Thursday 
  • Additional support for Fellows as needed 
  • Final reports and presentations, late September 2022
  • Celebration, certificate ceremony, and video premiere, late 2022 

 

Fellows will gain: 

  • Tools to identify community needs and different ways to address those needs  
  • Strategies for engaging with others who have different opinions, beliefs, and lived experiences 
  • Membership in a growing national network of young people working in civic spaces 
  • Better understanding of fundraising, community outreach, and grants management 
  • Skills such as program evaluation and measurement, budgeting, project development, outreach and communication, and coalition building  
  • Build the basic civic knowledge, skills, and dispositions to continue to productively engage in your communities 

Eligibility

The eligibility requirements are different for the National and the Arizona Programs. Please make sure all eligibility requirements are met before submitting an application. Eligible projects for both programs must address a local need related to at least one of the four project focus areas: environmental justice, mental health, the 2022 elections, or COVID-19.

  • National Program: Applicants must be youth-driven organizations, youth in partnership with community-based organizations, organizations that directly involve young people, OR organizations that plan to engage youth in program design and leadership as part of Civic Spring Fellowship 2022.
  • Arizona Program: Applicants must be between the ages of 15-24 and reside in Maricopa County. Applicants can apply individually, as a pair, or as a small group of 3-5. Connection with an outside group or organization is great though not necessary
PROJECT FOCUS AREAS

environmental justice

mental health

2022 elections

covid-19

Interested in Civic Spring but not eligible to apply?

what we mean by

hover over or tap each box to learn more

CIVICS

Civics is the study of the rights and duties of citizens in a society. C&S believes that to be an effective citizen, you need to be well-informed, productively engaged in your community, and hopeful about democracy.

CIVIC LEARNING

All the ways one develops civic knowledge, skills, and dispositions, which are the foundation of being an effective citizen. We learn these things in school but also at home, in our community, at work, and through other local institutions.

FELLOWSHIP

A Fellowship funds a specific project. These funds are used to allow people to dedicate time and resources they might not otherwise be able to. The Civic Spring Fellowship also includes community building with peers, adult partnerships to help advance your project, and leadership development. 

PARTNERSHIPS

There is incredible power when young people and adults work together to improve their communities. Young people will be paired with adult partners who will serve as an extra resource throughout the course of the project. You could call it a mentorship, but we expect it to be highly collaborative and a chance to learn from one another: an intergenerational partnership.

how to apply

Finalists will be notified May 6 and will be asked to return supplemental materials no later than May 17.

You must create an account to complete your application. You may return to your application any time before the deadline.

There will be two rounds of the Civic Spring Fellowship application process. Initial applications are due via the online application portal by April 29 and will include:

  1. The completed eligibility checklist
  2. Brief descriptions of your project, people involved, and budget
 
Finalists will be notified May 6 and will be asked to return supplemental materials no later than May 13. A completed finalist application will include:
 
  1. Financial forms, release forms, short questionnaire, and instructions on how to submit a 1-2 minute video (to be done on an iPhone or android) that will explain the following: your bold idea/vision for the project; why your project is important, who it will impact and how; and hopes for the future our our democracy.
  2. Learn more about round two requirements on the National and Arizona sub-pages.

First-round applications are now closed. If you experience any technical difficulties while filling out your application, please email Tech-Help@citizensandscholars.org for assistance.

FAQ

General Inquiries

A: Civic learning recognizes that preparing a young person to be a successful citizen in our democratic society requires a long-term, multidimensional approach, and one that includes not only transmitting civic knowledge but also practicing civic skills and encouraging civic dispositions.  Critical civic learning goes far beyond the K–12 classroom. It takes place after school, on the sports field, at summer camp, online and of course, at home. Civic learning is the system by which we can develop our citizens, most especially in our young people to be well-informed, productively engaged and hopeful about democracy.  To learn more, check out our paper, From Civic Education to a Civic Learning Ecosystem  

A: The concept of the Civic Spring Fellowship was developed in Spring 2020, when the team at Citizens & Scholars recognized a unique opportunity to leverage the “out-of-school space” to help young people grow their civic skills and interact with people from diverse backgrounds and beliefs in the era of an historic pandemic.   Ultimately, C&S brought together a skilled and diverse task force to set the groundwork for the first Civic Spring Project. The project was named Civic Spring to represent the opportunity to connect communities in need of creative solutions to urgent problems with young people seeking to make a difference.     

A: To support young people in addressing an urgent need in their community by developing civic knowledge, skills, and dispositions.   

A: The Youth Adult Partnership Program (YAPP) is an opportunity for adults from different companies/corporations to be in community with our Fellows—to learn together and share skills, lived experiences, and expertise. It will be a facilitated co-learning opportunity (meaning that no one is expected to come into the project with all the answers). Our goal is that youth and adults will become more civically knowledgeable with the skills to be productively engaged in their communities, and excited about the future of our democracy.  

A: The Civic Spring Project Community of Practice is a youth co-facilitated regular meeting series for young people and the adult partners from the grantee organization, where relevant.  Through this platform, participants will learn and practice civic skills, participate in peer-to-peer problem-solving, and come together in a safe place to ask questions and solve challenges together. It will be an opportunity to build networks and a support system for projects and people while applying the civic knowledge, skills and dispositions developed during the project. 

A: Youth-driven entities and organizations centralize and prioritize the role of young people in a variety of ways, including but not limited to one or more of the following:  

  • – Equitable partnerships with youth and adults that promote youth engagement; 
  • – Leadership roles and/or mentorship opportunities for youth throughout the entity/organization, meaningfully engaging youth at top-level positions such as advisory committees and Board seats;  
  • -Recognizing the unique knowledge, experience, and perspective of young people;   

 

Groups that do not identify as youth-driven organizations per se, but have demonstrated a) a commitment consistent with the goals of this project and b) a desire to constructively engage youth in their mission are also encouraged as partners.  

A: Yes. Young people (ages 15-24) must be a central part of developing the project proposal and implementing the project. The project itself does not need to necessarily target youth.   

A: There are specific eligibility requirements for both the National and the Arizona programs. Please check the National Program sub-page and the Arizona Program sub-page for more detailed eligibility requirements. 

A: No. Applicants must meet all eligibility requirements to be considered for the grant. Click here for the National eligibility requirements and click here for the Arizona requirements. 

A: Please review the eligibility requirements and send specific questions to civiceducation@citizensandscholars.org. We will do our best to respond within 2 business days.  

A: Unfortunately no, but we will have opportunities to engage 2020 CSP Grantees and Organizations in both the 2022 Civic Spring Fellowship and the Civic Spring National Network.  

A: Civic Spring AZ Fellows will receive a $1800 stipend per fellow for the 10-week project which amounts to 10 hours per week of work (including meetings) at a rate of $15 per hour.  

Civic Spring National grantee organizations will decide the hours and expected compensation structure for Civic Spring National Fellows and can apply for grants up to $25,000.  

A. Each young person responsible for the project will be considered a Fellow and is eligible for the $1800 stipend.  

A: You can learn more about Videos for Change here. CSF Fellows will have access to a VFC course through the Civic Learning Network.  

A: Please send your questions via email to civiceducation@citizensandscholars.org first. We intend to publish all submitted questions with answers so that multiple organizations can receive consistent answers. If you have a question, we are pretty sure that others are asking the same thing!