Institute For Citizens & Scholars And Levi Strauss & Co Launch Civic Spring Fellowship

Program Awards Grants To Youth-Focused Organizations Improving Their Communities

April 18, 2022

FOR RELEASE: April 18, 2022
Jay Geneske | 609-356-1834 |

PRINCETON, NJ (March 23, 2022) – The Institute for Citizens & Scholars in partnership with Levi Strauss & Co. launched the Civic Spring Fellowship, a national grant challenge that awards $25,000 to up to six youth-led or youth-centered organizations working on projects that address a local community need. Grants will support summer projects focused on local civic issues of environmental justice, community health and wellness, the 2022 elections, or the impact of COVID-19. In addition to funding, grantees will receive access to a national youth-adult partnership program and co-learning opportunities to strengthen their project and build their civic skills.

In addition to catalyzing local action in communities throughout the nation, the Civic Spring Fellowship aims to demonstrate the lasting value and potential of civic learning and action by young people. “We must think beyond the high school civics class and consider all the places and ways young people build their civic capacities,” said Institute for Citizens & Scholars President Rajiv Vinnakota. “Young people are eager to engage civically in their communities. The Civic Spring Fellowship provides young people the support they need to create real-time change in their own backyard while also preparing them to be lifelong civic leaders.”

The Civic Spring Fellows receive critical support and mentorship from a network of community and nonprofit organizations, government agencies, schools, religious institutions, and businesses like Levi Strauss & Co. “Levi Strauss & Co believes in being a force for positive change in our communities,” said Alexis Bechtol, Director, Community Affairs. “We are proud to build on our history of supporting next generation leaders who are taking bold stands on the social and environmental issues facing their communities.”

Applications open April 4 and close April 29, 2022. Finalists will be notified by May 7, 2022, and selected Fellows will be notified by May 27, 2021. Prospective grantees can find full eligibility details and submit their application at

The Civic Spring Fellowship was originally developed in 2020 by 40 subject-matter experts with insight and recommendations from young people. An independent evaluation of the 2020 Civic Spring Fellowship was conducted by Tufts University’s Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) and confirmed the individual and community impact of the program. Key findings included that the fellowship helped youth:

  • Find or strengthen their own voice, including their social-emotional learning capacities, abilities to navigate both civic institutions and their mental health, and strategies for working with stakeholders across lines of difference.
  • Make their city or town a better place, including advocating for policy change to city leaders, securing seats for youth on local government committees, holding voter registration events, and engaging local news media.
  • Gain knowledge and skills that would typically be part of a Civics class

More information on the Civic Spring Fellowship can be found at


About the Institute for Citizens and Scholars

The Institute for Citizens & Scholars ( cultivates talent, ideas, and networks that develop effective, lifelong citizens. Throughout our 75-year history, we’ve played a significant role in shaping educational talent in the K-12 and higher education spaces. Now, with an expanded mission, Citizens & Scholars unites the left, right, and center to develop breakthrough solutions that create stronger citizens in our country. We bring these solutions to life by forming strategic partnerships with an intentionally diverse group of young people, scholars and education leaders, and civic and business leaders—including the 27,000 world-leading Fellows in our network. Together, we’re on a mission to ensure that Americans everywhere are well-informed, productively engaged for the common good, and hopeful about democracy.

About Levi Strauss & Co

Levi Strauss & Co. (LS&Co.) is one of the world’s largest brand-name apparel companies and a global leader in jeanswear. The company designs and markets jeans, casual wear and related accessories for men, women and children under the Levi’s®, Signature by Levi Strauss & Co.™, Denizen®, Dockers® and Beyond Yoga brands. Its products are sold in more than 110 countries worldwide through a combination of chain retailers, department stores, online sites, and a global footprint of approximately 3,100 retail stores and shop-in-shops. Levi Strauss & Co.’s reported 2021 net revenues were $5.8 billion. For more information, go to, and for financial news and announcements go to

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