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

Citizens & Scholars is preparing 14–18-year-olds through fellowships, national community group partnerships, and online learning 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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Online Platforms

We are working with leading technologists to use the power of social media to civically engage and inform millions of young people.  

New Initatives

We’re developing a new initiative that will provide seed funding and wrap-around support to social innovators with bold ideas to cultivate the civic knowledge of young people in targeted urban and rural areas.

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.