Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Fellowship program?

The YP4 Fellowship program provides an opportunity for college students 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 Fellowship is your chance to join a vibrant network of young progressive leaders! We’ll select 150 students from across the country for the 2012-2013 Fellowship program.  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.

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What are the requirements For fellows?

The Fellowship kicks off with a three-day Regional Training.  After the training, Fellows work one-on-one with YP4 staff and mentors on an individual leadership development plan.  Fellows who successfully complete that plan are invited to attend a five-day National Summit in Washington, D.C., where Fellows learn from skilled organizers, movement leaders and each other.

All Fellows must attend the Regional Training and Summit.

After the Summit, Fellows return to their campuses. Each Fellow works with a YP4 staff person or mentor over the course of the year to identify and access the funding, resources, networks and technical assistance necessary to ensure that their work is sustainable, strategic, and supported.

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What are the Regional Trainings?

The Fellows will begin their YP4 experience this 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, 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 vote work.  The regional trainings also provide YP4 with an opportunity to reengage with alumni and local progressive partners and to forge new relationships across the country.

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What is 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.

At the Summit, Fellows meet other young progressive leaders from all over the country and learn powerful strategies and tactics for creating sustainable social change.

Fellows are required to attend the full Summit. YP4 will cover Fellows' meals and accommodations, and will work with Fellows to ensure they are able to afford their travel to the Summit.

At the Summit, all Fellows learn the key tools for developing a Blueprint proposal, and will work to create a draft of that proposal.

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What is a Blueprint?

The Blueprint for Social Justice is a Fellow-designed, step-by-step individual or collaborative plan of action.

The Blueprint provides the opportunity to create meaningful progressive social change that directly impacts your 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, goals and deliverables. After the Summit, Fellows continue to work one-on-one with YP4 staff 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
  • Support a Fellow’s individual leadership development through trainings, conferences and more
  • Support an internship placement at a local progressive organization

If you’re unsure how you want to work with YP4, you can create your own kind of Blueprint.

Fellows work with us to design a Blueprint approach that aligns with their goals and vision for social change.

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What kinds of students should apply for the Fellowship?

YP4 works with a multitude of students across the country. They come from all different backgrounds and experiences; what they all have in common is that they want to make change on their campuses or in their communities starting today. YP4’s support is customized to each individual Fellow. In direct consultation with YP4 staff, Fellows identify the type of resources, funding, networks, skills and technical assistance necessary to achieve their goals.

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What issues does Young People For focus on?

We don’t tell Fellows what to think, what issues to work on, or what candidates to support. Instead, we identify young progressive leaders and empower them with the tools to realize their own visions of creating lasting progressive change. In other words, we focus on supporting fellows in their work, whatever form that might take.

Over the past few years, we've identified twelve core issue areas in which Fellows tend to engage.  These issues are:

  • Campus Diversity
  • Civic Engagement
  • Civil Rights (including racial justice, reproductive justice, LGBTQ rights, women's rights, disability rights, the courts)
  • Economic Justice
  • Education
  • Environmental Conservation and Justice
  • Healthcare
  • Immigration
  • International Human Rights
  • Workers' Rights
  • Native American Issues, Traditions, and Empowerment
  • Progressive Alliance/Coalition Building

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How do I apply?

Apply for the program here.  Applications are due no later than Tuesday, February 7.

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I’m a {freshman/senior}; should I apply for the fellowship program?

All undergraduate college students are eligible to apply.

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I’m not sure I can attend the {Regional Training/National Summit}. What do I do?

See what you can do to make room in your schedule. If selected, you must be able to confirm your attendance of the Regional Training and National Summit.

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Where does YP4 get its funding from?

We raise 100 percent of our costs. To do so, we look to national foundations, family foundations, and individual donors large and small.

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I’m a graduate student, am I eligible?

The Fellowship program is for undergraduate students only, but we’d love to connect with you about other opportunities available through YP4 and our partners. Please contact us.

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