Citizens & Scholars is cultivating a majority of young people to be civically well-informed, productively engaged, and committed to democracy.

Citizens & Scholars prepares 14-18-year-olds through fellowship opportunities.


Civic Spring Fellowship

Our Civic Spring Fellowship provides funding and mentorship to support diverse youth leaders working creatively to effect civic change in their communities. 

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Youth Civic Impact Fellowship

Young people play a critical role in strengthening our democracy today and for the long haul. Youth Civic Impact Fellows are young people ages 14-24 who reside in Arizona or the city of Chicago and are seeking to develop the skills and confidence needed to become future civic leaders.

Youth Civic Impact Fellowship

The Challenge


The U.S. federal government spends 5 cents per student every year on civic education


Only 1 in 4 students demonstrate competency in civics. (NAEP)


Only seven states require one year of civics or government studies; 13 states have no civics course requirement at all. (CivXNow)


Only 40% of K-12 educators teach students to evaluate information online.

The Solution

Empowered Citizens, Effective Democracy 

This is an urgent time for the nation and for democracy. We see a way forward in today’s young people, and we recognize that they are particularly poised to strengthen democracy now and for the long haul. 

Today’s 42 million 14–24-year-olds are entering the public square. They need support and partnership from older generations and institutions like Citizens & Scholars to achieve their ambitions. 

Investing in youth breaks the barriers of left versus right by focusing on values that unite us all, such as freedom of expression and a commitment to liberty and democracy. This approach opens new possibilities and can generate outsized returns for democracy. 

96% of 2020 Civic Spring Fellows said they were learning what would typically be part of a civics class

The Impact

By focusing on building the civic knowledge of young people in out-of-school spaces, Citizens & Scholars can:

  • Reach 18.5 million urban young people through community groups and online platforms. 
  • Reach 1.1 million rural young people through Fellowships and online platforms.