Lead for America

Lead for America

***FINALIST APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS: All applicants are required to submit a resume (one page), statement of interest (one page), and two references by the application deadline on Sunday, February 7 at 11:59pm ET. If selected as a finalist, applicants to this host organization may be required to submit the following additional materials directly to the host organization after the application deadline:

  • Writing Sample
  • Case study and final interview

LOCATION: Dodge City, Kansas

INDUSTRY: Advocacy / Grassroots

ABOUT US: From the opioid crisis to intergenerational poverty and ecological devastation, the challenges facing our communities and nation are immense. And our communities and public institutions––the very things designed to confront these challenges, give every American a chance at a better life, and care for those who can’t care for themselves––are crumbling exactly when we need them most.

But we also know it doesn’t have to be this way. All of these challenges were caused by people. We believe they can, and will, be solved by people too. This will only be possible if we have a critical mass of dynamic, moral, courageous, and representative leaders tackling these challenges in every corner of this country, and leveraging the institutions that matter most.

The talent and leadership that this moment requires is born into every community. But for far too many young Americans, particularly those growing up in our highest need rural and urban communities, the narrative of success has become one of leaving and never coming back. And even for those who maintain the conviction to return, or remain, and serve, the pathways to do so are few and far between. Lead For America activates the leadership force we need for nationwide community revitalization.

To comprehensively tackle our communities’ and nation’s toughest challenges we must 1) leverage the resources of our public institutions--the foundational infrastructure that can realistically address these challenges at scale, 2) work on the hyperlocal level to build locally-relevant interventions, and 3) amplify the voices of those most impacted to the frontlines of changemaking.

We believe this approach requires a bench of locally-rooted, systems-oriented leadership working in public institutions in every corner of this country to design and implement the most effective community solutions, while living out a narrative of success that centers community wellbeing. These leaders should be 1) highly trained, 2) committed for the long term (systems change takes time), 3) experts in the needs and challenges facing their communities (through lived experience or proximate knowledge), and 4) connected to learnings generated in other communities nationwide to inform their work.

Lead For America’s flagship Hometown Fellows program builds the leadership force we need to address these challenges at scale, to change the narrative of success and worth in our country, and to ensure that every child has a chance at a better life, no matter their neighborhood or family circumstances. By 2040, LFA aims to recruit, train, and place 50,000 of our nation’s most outstanding young leaders in high-impact changemaking roles in their hometown communities. The fellowship is a four year commitment for dynamic and diverse leaders ages 21-30 who return to their hometown communities and work full-time alongside local public institutions implementing proven strategies to improve community wellbeing.

In our first two years, we have received 1800+ applications from 300+ colleges and universities. By August of 2020, our 100+ Fellows will be serving 70+ communities in 28 states, and over 50% of our Fellows are people of color, 65% are women or gender non-conforming, 43% Pell-grant eligible, and 31% are first-generation college students. Our inaugural class includes Marine Corps Veterans, Truman Scholars, Udall Scholars, and Division 1 Athletes. 100% of our Fellows are serving in communities/regions in which they have already lived.

RESPONSIBILITIES & PROJECTS: Executive Interns will work directly with a member of Lead for America’s C-Suite or senior staff, providing their manager with strategic and operations support across all aspects of their job. Executive Interns will advise on, assist, and manage daily executive tasks. Executive Interns will additionally oversee and execute on longer-term projects that can span the spectrum from communications, finance, development, programs, and operations.

  • The ability to be detail-oriented, multitask, meet deadlines, and think critically and creatively
  • The ability to communicate with others persuasively and effectively
  • The ability to work efficiently and learn quickly in a fast-paced environment
  • Excellent interpersonal, writing, and organizational skills
  • A deep passion for changing the world through change at the local level
  • A strong alignment with Lead for America’s five core values (see website)

REMOTE WORK ENVIRONMENT: We will have one weekly remote meeting with each intern team to touch base about progress, troubleshoot, and talk through next week's projects. Interns can complete all projects asynchronously ahead of their next meeting.

TIME ZONE: Central Time

WORKING HOURS: There is flexibility regarding which hours the intern works.

EQUIPMENT & SOFTWARE: Access to high-speed Wi-Fi, Personal laptop, Web Camera


2020 Intern Reflection:

This summer, I am interning at Lead for America, which is non-profit organization dedicated to non-partisan, grassroots reform for communities by community members. As the research intern, I am helping with a myriad of tasks. I have helped with staff recruiting, Salesforce data entry, and researching graduate school programs for fellows. As someone who has never worked in a non-profit setting before, I have really appreciated these professional experiences. I also have enjoyed the work I am doing, as I plan to pursue public service or non-profit work after graduation, and I would highly recommend this internship to anyone interested in local government or grassroots work.

-Kara Murray '22

Chapel Hill, NC