What is Young People For?

Young People For (YP4) is a leadership development program focusing on identifying, engaging and empowering young progressive leaders to effect positive change on their campuses and in their communities.

The core of our programming is a one-year fellowship that equips young people with the skills and resources necessary to create positive progressive change today.

What is the fellowship?

The fellowship is a chance to join a vibrant network of young progressive leaders! Each year Young People For selects approximately 150 young people from across the country to take part in the fellowship program. Fellows will participate in regional trainings, mentorship, and the National Summit Washington, DC.

The YP4 Fellowship program provides an opportunity for young people to develop leadership skills while creating meaningful social change. The yearlong program provides each fellow with:

  • Personalized leadership development
  • Customized social justice, power analysis and organizing training
  • Strategic and tactical training
  • Network- and community-building opportunities
  • Support to implement a self-designed Blueprint for Social Justice
  • Professional development support and mentorship

The Fellows begin their YP4 experience over the summer at their respective regional trainings. At the regional trainings, Fellows meet with 30-40 other young activists and organizers from their region, the YP4 staff, alumni, and organizational partners from the area. The focus of these initial trainings is individual capacity-building and leadership development.  Workshops provide Fellows with an introduction to progressive values; power, privilege, and oppression; personal story telling, civic engagement; and more. In addition, issue area experts from across the regions are brought in to train the Fellows on issues ranging from reproductive justice to strategic coalition building. At the regional trainings and the Summit, fellows meet other young progressive leaders from all over the country and learn powerful strategies and tactics for creating sustainable social change.

At the Summit, all 150 Fellows come together for four days of essential trainings, workshops, strategizing and networking on how to be more effective on campus and in our community promoting social justice issues and progressive values. All fellows learn the key tools for developing a Blueprint proposal, and will work to create a draft of that proposal.

The Blueprint provides the opportunity to create meaningful progressive social change that directly impacts their campus or community and helps to build progressive power on the local, state nationwide or even international level.

The Blueprint provides the framework for strategic, sustainable and community-driven change. At the Summit, all fellows learn the key tools for developing a Blueprint proposal that includes vision, fundraising, backwards planning, powermapping, and leadership development and transition planning. After the Summit, fellows continue to work one-on-one with YP4 staff, alumni, and partners to develop their proposal. Some of the projects we support include Blueprints designed to:

  • Launch progressive blogs and publications
  • Conduct research and make policy recommendations (at the university, local, state or nationwide level)
  • Organize the student body or a community around an important issue
  • Create new alliances, coalitions and networks on campus

The Fellowship is not structured as an internship, and is not a paid position.  However, we do provide small grants to support Fellows' Blueprints for Social Justice when funding is available.Throughout the fellowship, fellows are offered one-on-one coaching, technical support and media assistance while implementing a self-designed Blueprint for Social Justice.  In addition to support for your Blueprint, fellows also receive help with internship placements, job opportunities, travel opportunities, and networking opportunities to add to their ability to make an impact as a young leader.

The Alumni Network continues this work by ensuring that the relationships and work completed during the YP4 Fellowship are sustained and supported over the long-term. The YP4 Alumni Network is a community of young progressives committed to cultivating and supporting YP4 programs and Fellows through mentorship, networking, advanced leadership trainings and much more.

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» Check out the amazing sustainable, strategic, and community-driven change our alumni continue to create!