Our Approach

Cultivating youth as effective, lifelong citizens is a journey from adolescence through early adulthood and must reach beyond the walls of a classroom.

Citizens & Scholars leverages our 75 years of unrivaled expertise and the ideologically diverse practitioners, business leaders, policy influencers, funders, and 27,000 world-leading Fellows in our network to tackle this challenge on a massive scale.

We approach this challenge through three focus areas that drive youth civic development outcomes inside and outside the classroom, at the workplace, and within the community. We also invest in tools, research, practices, and networks that accelerate the collective impact across the field of civic learning.

Each focus area achieves specific outcomes through a mix of fellowship programs that select and invest in the country’s most promising talent, initiatives that connect and convene networks of unlikely allies, and investments in new ventures and tools that will spark democracy change on a massive scale.

Youth Civic Development Portfolio

Tackle the severe underinvestment in civic learning by developing tools, networks, and direct services for millions of adolescents in America to build fundamental civic knowledge, skills, and attitudes.

The Civic Network
New digital portal with self-directed learning experiences from leading civic learning content providers to develop American middle and high school-age learners into engaged, responsible citizens.

Social Media Content Development
Original content for social media platforms to build the civic knowledge of millions of adolescents and young adults.

Teaching Fellowship
Recruits and prepares recent graduates and career changers with STEM backgrounds to teach in middle and high school science and math classrooms.

Higher Education & Campus Life Portfolio

Ensure young people seek information and ideas from a variety of sources and perspectives by supporting scholars and higher education leaders who are making their fields and campuses more engaged and inclusive.

Charlotte W. Newcombe Fellowship
Publication of significant study of ethical or religious values in all fields of the humanities, social and political sciences.

Leadership for Civic Preparedness in Higher Education
A series of projects and events with a range of leaders in higher education, diverse in institutional type and ideology, who believe that civic preparedness for the next generation is crucial to their work.

Higher Ed Media Fellowship
Richer and more comprehensive media coverage on the most pressing stories in postsecondary education.

Higher Ed Policy Fellowship
Trust-based collaboration between top-level education leaders and policymakers to create thoughtful change in higher education.

Mellon Fellowships
Breaking down barriers to higher education and increasing the presence of faculty members committed to eradicating racial disparities in the arts and humanities.

Women’s Studies Fellowship
Humanities and social science research that addresses topics of women and gender in interdisciplinary and original ways.

Community & Workplace Civic Engagement Portfolio

Partner with business leaders and policymakers to implement practices and policies that strengthen youth civic participation at the workplace and within communities.

Created by Congress to commemorate America’s 250th anniversary, The America 250 Commission will encourage Americans to remember our past, celebrate the present, and look forward to a promising future. Citizens & Scholars President Raj Vinnakota is co-chairing the Civics & Civic Engagement Advisory Council

Brewer Fellowship to Unite America
Cross-partisan leaders in the democracy reform movement building a political system that functions for all Americans.

Civic Spring Fellowships
Youth-led community initiatives across the country that bolster civic knowledge while also driving local policy change, increased voter registration, and trust in institutions.


Civic Learning Field Investment Portfolio

Invest in field-wide tools, research, policies, practices, and networks that will scale the collective impact of individuals and organizations working on youth citizen development.

Council on Civic Strength
Coalition of the top civic and pro-democracy organizations to set civic learning priorities and promote cross-sector networking, organizing capacity, policy influence, and funding.

Civic Learning Measurement Initiative
Shared toolset for thousands of practitioners in the civic learning field to monitor, measure, and evaluate the effectiveness of youth civic development.

Civic Narrative Initiative
Building a community of practice of narratives that create a long-term shift in hearts and minds to prioritize citizen development as a core societal responsibility.

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Civic Venture Accelerator

Our Civic Venture Accelerator develops new breakthrough ventures and initiatives to achieve portfolio outcomes.

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Support Our Portfolios

Help us invest in the talent, ideas, and networks that will develop young people as effective, lifelong citizens.