2024 fellowship

Are you passionate about making a difference in your community? Are you interested in learning more about careers in government and politics? 

Apply now for Ready to Launch's fall 2024 fellowship! The fellowship will run from August to December see below for key dates and program details.

Apply now!

About the fellowship

Our organization was created to provide opportunities for more women to explore staff careers in government and politics. Our fellowship program provides the training, mentorship, stipend support, and other resources that our fellows need to succeed.

Our training includes writing and public speaking workshops, as well as learning sessions on our government and political processes. We work with participants to develop their resumes, take professional headshots, practice networking skills, and more. Each fellow meets with a mentor, and other role models and public service professionals.

We will help our fellows find and secure a part-time internship in an elected official's office to get hands-on experience that complements the training and educational programming we provide.

The fellowship is educational, mentorship, and grant-oriented in nature; it is not an employment opportunity.

About Ready to Launch

Ready to Launch is a women-led, L.A.-based nonprofit organization on a mission to diversify staff in politics and public service by helping more women learn, grow, and launch their careers – and ensuring women from historically marginalized communities have equitable access to these sectors. Our progressive values are at the core of our work to build more equitable and inclusive pathways into staff careers in politics and government. We believe in a future where our democracy truly represents our communities.

Program eligibility

Ready to Launch’s fellowship program is available to self-identifying women who reside in Los Angeles County and are at least 18 years old. Women of color, women from immigrant families, women who identify as LGBTQ+, and women who are a part of other historically marginalized communities are strongly encouraged to apply. No prior experience is required. 

Application process: key dates

Monday, April 1, 2024 - Application opens

Sunday, April 21, 2024 at 11:59 p.m. PT - Application closes

Selected applicants will be contacted for virtual interviews in May. Participants will be notified if they have been selected for the fall fellowship by June 10.

Fellowship timing and commitment

Each fellow must commit to participating in all in-person training days in L.A. County on the following dates. Each session will run from approximately 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

  • Friday, August 16
  • Saturday, August 17
  • Sunday, August 18
  • Saturday, September 7
  • Saturday, September 28
  • Saturday, October 19
  • Saturday, November 9 
  • Saturday, December 7 (Fellowship graduation ceremony - approximately 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.)

We will also host mandatory virtual fellowship sessions from 7-8 p.m. on the following dates:

  • Monday, June 17
  • Monday, August 26

Additionally training sessions or Zoom meetings may be added as necessary to best support the fellows during their fellowship experience.

Internship

Each fellow will be assisted by the Ready to Launch team in finding and securing an internship in a government office. The start and end dates for internship placements may vary, but all fellows’ fall internships will run between approximately early September and the end of November. Fellows must be able to commit to a three-month internship working 15-20 hours per week.

Evaluation and Criteria

We evaluate applications along six main criteria:

  1. Expressed interest in government, politics, and/or public policy: We are looking for applicants who clearly and compellingly articulate why they are interested in a staff career in government, politics, and/or public policy.
  2. Leadership potential: Leadership comes in many forms, from official roles like class president to overcoming personal obstacles or managing family responsibilities. Strong applicants demonstrate their eagerness to learn and grow as a leader and include examples of how they’ve shown leadership in their lives. Strong applicants explain how the fellowship will help them in their leadership journey.
  3. Fellowship interest: Compelling applicants can clearly express why they are interested in what the Ready to Launch fellowship uniquely offers and how it relates to their personal, educational, and professional goals.
  4. Fellowship need: Our fellowship program is specifically designed for women looking to gain entry-level experience in public service and for whom an entry-level experience would greatly accelerate their career exploration or provide a new learning experience. We are looking for fellows who can clearly explain how the fellowship would offer them new opportunities they haven’t previously been able to access.
  5. Writing skills: While we do work with fellows to refine their writing skills, we look for application essays that are clear, compelling, and grounded in specific examples. 
  6. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Our mission is to create more equitable opportunities in staff careers in government and politics. We prioritize applicants who demonstrate an understanding of the issues facing historically marginalized communities and bring a unique voice to the field of public service.

For any questions regarding the application process, you can visit our FAQ section below or reach out to Ready to Launch’s team at [email protected].


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the fellowship?

A: The Ready to Launch fellowship is a three-month opportunity for women to gain entry-level experience in government and politics. The fellowship consists of educational programming – and our team assists each fellow with locating an internship in government to get hands-on experience alongside the training and mentorship we provide. We provide stipend support up to $5,000 as needed to ensure all fellows can afford to access this opportunity.

Q: When does the fellowship start?

A: The fellowship will take place between August 16 and December 7 and will consist of in-person and virtual training, mentorship and other learning opportunities. Fellows must commit to attending full-day, in-person training sessions on the following days:

  • Friday, August 16
  • Saturday, August 17
  • Sunday, August 18
  • Saturday, September 7
  • Saturday, September 28
  • Saturday, October 19
  • Saturday, November 9 
  • Graduation: Saturday, December 7

Alongside this training, fellows will also participate in a part-time internship. Internship start dates will vary but internships will generally run from the beginning of September to the end of November.

Q: Who can apply?

A: Ready to Launch’s fellowship program is available to self-identifying women who reside in Los Angeles County and are at least 18 years old. Women of color, women from immigrant families, women who identify as LGBTQ+, and women who are a part of other historically marginalized communities are strongly encouraged to apply. No prior work experience is required. 

Q: Do I need to be a student to apply?

A: No, you do not need to be a current student or have a college degree to apply. However, you can apply if you are a current student. 

Q: Can I work full-time while doing the fellowship?

A: No, all fellows must have availability to complete a three-month internship of 15-20 hours per week during normal business hours of 9 am - 5 pm Monday through Friday.

Q: Can I still apply for the fellowship if I am unavailable for one or more of the training dates?

A: No, all fellows must be able to attend all fellowship training sessions in order to complete the fellowship.

Q: Do I need to have prior work experience to apply?

A: No, you do not need any prior work experience to apply. In fact, our program is designed to serve participants who are in the early stages of building their skills and resume.

Q: Does the program cost money?

A: No! The program is provided free to accepted applicants.

Q: Is this an employment opportunity?

A: No. This is a fellowship program that supports women who want to learn about staff careers in government and politics. The fellowship provides education, training, and mentorship to individuals who are simultaneously interning for elected officials. Ready to Launch will provide grant stipends as needed to remove economic barriers for our fellows to participate in the program.

Q: Are fellows paid and how much?

A: Ready to Launch provides educational stipends up to $5,000 to help our fellows access this opportunity.

Q: Is the program provided in person or virtually?

A: Ready to Launch offers in-person training and fellowship sessions that give our fellows the opportunity to form relationships with each other, our team, and other trainers and speakers. We also host virtual sessions throughout the summer to provide additional learning opportunities. Internships may be hybrid, virtual, or in-person depending on the needs of our government partners.