Ready to Launch is committed to diversifying the staff pipeline in politics and government, and helping more women connect with opportunities to learn, grow, and launch careers in these fields. In addition to our flagship fellowship programs, we've also compiled a list of other programs, resources and information from our partners and other organizations.
To submit another program or opportunity to be considered for this list, you can email our team at [email protected].
Programs For Young People
1. CORO Youth Program
The CORO Youth program provides rising high school juniors and seniors from Southern California with a unique fellowship experience. The six-week program consists of an internship, a group project, networking opportunities, and leadership training.
2. California YMCA Youth & Government
The California YMCA Youth and Government offers middle and high school students throughout California hands-on experience with leadership and civic engagement through a variety of programs.
3. Community Coalition’s (CoCo) Youth Fellowship
The 12-week Youth Organizing Fellowship is based in South Los Angeles and helps participants develop core organizing competencies through training and field practice centering on outreach and recruitment. The program also offers political education, coaching, and mentoring. Ideal candidates are people that have a belief in the power of youth to build power and impact change and who have an interest in learning foundational organizing principles to organize high school aged youth. You must be at least 18 years old to apply and selected candidates will receive a stipend.
4. Young People For
Young People For provides a year-long fellowship that focuses on leadership development, social justice education, and community building. Fellows design a blueprint for social justice, attend regional trainings and civic engagement workshops, and network with mentors. Young people from diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply.
5. The Blue Institute
The Blue Institute offers training on campaign management and policy, networking opportunities, and opportunities for alumni to be a part of progressive campaigns. Applicants should be youth who reside in the South and Southwestern U.S. and should also be people of color who are interested in becoming leaders, strategists, and prominent staff members.
6. YEO Network’s Front Line Leaders Academy
YEO Network is a diverse network of leaders that help members form connections and advance their ideas. Their Front Line Leaders Academy offers three-month training and leadership development to equip women and people of color between the ages of 18 to 35 to be successful in various roles of progressive campaigns, such as campaign manager, field director, data director, digital director, communications director, and candidate.
7. Countywide Youth Bridges Program
The Countywide Youth Bridges Program (CYBP), provided by the County of L.A., gives at-risk and disconnected youth career exposure within the public sector through a paid internship. CYBP also provides resources such as supportive services and training that will help prepare participants for future success. Learn more about the program.
8. ING Fellowship
With the help of dedicated and passionate mentors, the ING Fellowship aims to inspire, nurture, and guide young people in Inglewood, CA to organize, mobilize, and address different issues affecting the Inglewood community. Applicants must be 18-30 years old and have a connection to Inglewood/South Bay communities.
9. Pay Our Interns
Pay Our Interns (POI) is the nation’s leading organization fighting to ensure all students have equitable access to professional career paths through the implementation of paid internships countrywide—especially students from historically excluded communities. POI offers paid internships and fellowships within the organization, as well as an internship resources center.
10. Blue Future
Blue Future is a national organizing program that engages, mobilizes, and connects young people across race and place to progressive campaigns, equipping them with the resources, tools, skills, and network to be effective volunteers, organizers, and community leaders. They offer paid organizing opportunities through their training programs and funds.
11. The Landecker Democracy Fellowship
Every year, this fellowship brings together 30 fellows from the U.S., European Union, and the U.K. to spend one year realizing a project idea that tackles a democratic challenge in today’s digital age. This year’s fellowship’s theme revolves around the intersection of technology and social justice. As part of the program, fellows receive a stipend, and all travel and accommodation costs are covered to attend an in-person Action Academy. For age eligibility, applicants must have been born after 1980.
Programs For College Students Or Grad Students
1. County of L.A. Internship programs
The County of L.A. offers several internship programs for students with the County government. These opportunities deliver on-the-job training, real-life work experience, and the ability to learn more about career opportunities in this field. Read more about the programs available.
2. Impact of A Vote
Impact of A Vote works to expose African American college students to non-traditional careers and pathways into politics and public service. Their Black Girl 44 Scholarship offers ten scholarships that are worth $1,000 to African American undergraduate women who have obtained an internship in politics or public service in Washington D.C.
3. Schaeffer Fellowship
The Schaeffer fellowship in government service is available to undergraduate students at Harvard, Princeton, USC, UVA, and UC Berkeley. Fellows have access to alumni mentors and work full-time for ten weeks at a local, state, or federal government office. The program at USC pays participants $5,000 for living expenses and federal interns receive an additional $1,000.
4. Los Angeles County Democratic Party
The Los Angeles County Democratic Party (LACDP) offers unpaid internships and a paid fellowship to current college students or recent graduates in the L.A. area. Interns will learn grassroots organizing and have the opportunity to work alongside local leaders.
5. County Management Fellows
The County Management Fellows Program is a paid fellowship that lasts two years for applicants with a Master’s degree that want to work in L.A. County government. The program includes work assignments, 160 hours of formal training, leadership courses, seminars, networking opportunities, and benefits.
6. American Association of University Women (AAUW)
AAUW seeks to eliminate the bias present in access to education, lessen the pay gap, and allow women to assume leadership roles. They offer various fellowships and grants to women graduate students.
7. Lead for America
Lead for America offers the National Hometown fellowship and the State-Based fellowship to young leaders serving their communities. Applicants must be college graduates. The paid two-year fellowship programs support participants working on a pressing local issue in their community, alongside access to mentorship and other resources.
8. Community Groundwork
The mission of Community Groundwork is to ensure that community college students are prepared for civic duty in their personal and professional lives. Their training and mentorship programs offer access to accomplished political professionals who volunteer their time to teach courses on everything from networking and resume-writing to digital storytelling and data analytics. After these quarterly programs, students leverage job shadowing and placement opportunities with elected officials, local races, and city agencies near each partner college. Community Groundwork programs provide stipends to supplement lost wages from missed shifts and cover expenses like transportation and food to remove as many practical impediments as possible for those students with the passion, curiosity, and work ethic to participate.
Programs For Self-Identifying Women
1. EMILY’s List
EMILY’s List supports pro-choice Democratic women candidates for elected office through funding, training and other support. Their Ignite Change Fellowship is a free program that equips women with the tools to run for office. Specifically, this program supports women from marginalized communities who have leadership experience, but have no prior experience in running for office.
2. Women’s Foundation California
Women’s Foundation California offers a year-long fellowship known as the Dr. Beatriz María Solís Policy Institute (SPI). SPI is an experiential learning opportunity that focuses on advocacy for racial, economic, and gender-based equality. The program is open to advocates and activists who work in nonprofit or grassroots organizations, and it is offered in two forms: state and local.
3. NWPC LA
The Los Angeles Westside chapter of the National Women’s Political Caucus (NWPC) recruits, trains, and endorses pro-choice women candidates. Additionally, NWPC provides training programs for women pursuing careers as political staffers.
SuperMajority encourages women’s activism by allowing their members to get unique access to information, resources, training, and tools in order to have a supportive group of women to work alongside for change. Members can come from various ages, races, and backgrounds.
5. Emerge California
Emerge is the nation’s premier candidate training program for Democratic women. The Emerge California team provides a training program that provides training and community to help participants learn how to run for office. The program includes fundraising, public speaking, and campaign strategy training along with opportunities for networking and mentorship. Tuition is $1,500, and scholarships are available.
6. IGNITE fellowship
IGNITE provides a year-long, paid fellowship for young women who are passionate about creating change in their communities. The IGNITE fellowship curriculum includes leadership and professional development. Fellows must be at least 18 years old to participate.
7. All In Together
All In Together aims to encourage, prepare, educate, and empower women to participate in politics through various programs and workshops. Their Community Leadership Program helps women become leaders in civic engagement through education and peer support.
DemocraShe aims to empower female high school students of all backgrounds to become future leaders. Their free online training program provides the tools to become successful candidates through relationships, workshops, a support network, and more.
9. Congressional Fellowships on Women & Public Policy
The Women's Congressional Policy Institute (WCPI) extends fellowships each year to a select number of students pursuing a graduate degree or those who have recently completed a master’s, doctorate, or professional degree with a proven commitment to equity for women. Fellows gain practical policymaking experience and graduate credit as they work from January to July in congressional offices. This is the only graduate-level fellowship program on Capitol Hill focused on women. WCPI also offers paid internships that are open to current undergraduate students and those who graduated within six months of the application cycle deadline.
Programs For People Of Color
1. California Latinx Capitol Association Foundation
California Latinx Capitol Association Foundation is the premier professional organization for Latinx members in and beyond the Capitol community. CLCAF hosts an annual internship program for high school students to gain experience working for an Assemblymember, State Senator, or an advocacy organization in Sacramento. The program is free to participate and participants receive a $500 scholarship at the end of the program. Additionally, CLCAF provides other programs, such as mentorship opportunities and policy bootcamps for Latinx staffers and young people interested in careers in government and advocacy.
2. Latinx 44 Scholarship Program
The Latinx44 Scholarship Program awards $2,000 in funding to Latinx students and recent graduates pursuing unpaid or underfunded public service internships. Scholarship awardees are also paired with a mentor and given access to professional development opportunities. Applicants must be a current college/graduate/technical school/community college student or recent graduate, be of Latinx heritage, and have secured a public service internship.
3. The Black Girl 44 Scholarship
The Black Girl 44 Scholarship offers scholarships for African American women participating in internships in Washington, D.C. that relate to policy, community engagement, community service, advocacy, global relations, or politics.
4. Progressive Pipeline
Progressive Pipeline offers a paid fellowship for underrepresented students. The 10-week program matches students with progressive campaigns and organizations and provides additional training, mentorship, and networking opportunities after the internship ends.
5. The HOPE Leadership Institute (HLI)
The HOPE Leadership Institute (HLI) is a nine-month statewide program that offers full-day training sessions, academic seminars, networking, group work, and personal assessments in order to empower participants with leadership and advocacy skills. The program requires participants be Latinas with a minimum of five years of leadership experience, be a mid or high-level professional, and live in California. The program is tuition-free.
6. Los Angeles African American Women’s Public Policy Institute (LAAAWPPI)
LAAAWPPI offers a rigorous 10-week leadership program to equip African American women with the tools to be engaged as corporate leaders, elected officials, campaign consultants, public affairs consultants, fund-raisers, activists, legislative staff members, and members of boards and commissions. While there is a tuition of $1,350, partial tuition scholarships are available for applicants.
7. CA Native Vote Project
The California Native Vote Project hosts a Summer Youth Organizing Academy for American Indian/Alaskan Native youth from across the state of California. The program offers training in identity-based leadership, American Indian history, and connecting with other Native advocates. The program focuses on native youth from Los Angeles, Sacramento, and Del Norte counties.
8. Congressional Black Caucus
The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation offers a 12-month fellowship program in Washington D.C. that offers participants a 6-month learning opportunity working in a Congressional office and a 6-month learning opportunity working on a Congressional committee. The Congressional Black Caucus Institute also offers a seven-day boot camp to train aspiring Black candidates and campaign staffers with the skills needed to win electoral races. The program consists of a campaign simulation, leadership workshops, and connections with an extensive alumni network.
9. Congressional Hispanic Caucus
The Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) aims to help shape Latino leaders by networking them with powerful individuals in order to address the inequities plaguing the nation and the Hispanic community. They offer a wide variety of programs such as fellowships and internships to exceptional Latino students as well as young professionals.
10. CAUSE Leadership Institute
The CAUSE Leadership Institute focuses on promoting political and civic engagement among the Asian Pacific American community. Applicants should be professionals with leadership experience who will attend 12 90-minute sessions centered around policy, civic leadership skill development, leadership roundtables, and networking. The program fee is $240.
11. Latinas Lead Young Professionals Network
Latinas Lead Young Professionals Network (YPN) is led by the YPN Leadership Board that consists of outstanding young women with a passion of empowering Latinas in public leadership as well as community activism. YPN supporters are Latinas as well as allies between 23-35 years old and they are offered opportunities with political fundraising, communications, civic engagement, and event management.
12. Black to the Future Public Policy Institute
Black to the Future Public Policy Institute is an 8 month policy advocacy and leadership training fellowship that seeks to better Black lives, establish a network of Black policy makers, and create independent political power in Black communities. Some of the policies that they emphasize include voting rights, public health, economic security, and the criminal justice system, among others. While the fellowship is free, the ideal applicant already has experience in organized efforts to better Black lives as well as in the policy making process, comes from a diverse background, and lives in a priority state.
Programs Open For Everyone
1. Arena Academy
Arena Academy offers training for campaign staffers (regardless of previous experience) and supports learning opportunities for women, people of color, and the LBGTQ+ community in order to diversify our future leaders. Various tracks are offered, including campaign manager, communications, finance, organizing director, digital, data, and organizer. This five-day program requires a tuition of $300, but scholarships are available for those who need it.
2. Echoing Green
Echoing Green’s full-time fellowship program aims to support social entrepreneurs who are over 18 years old on a spectrum of issues (climate change, education, health, human rights, poverty, racial justice) through advisors, brainstorming sessions, professional training, annual networking events, and leadership development.
3. The National Democratic Training Committee
The National Democratic Training Committee offers free training for Democrats who want to manage, work, or volunteer on campaigns and trains qualified individuals to run for higher office. Additionally, their free Staff Academy is a 10-week program that recruits, trains and connects people who are interested in becoming staffers, with a priority for women, people of color, transgender, and nonbinary leaders.
4. The DNC’s Campaign Readiness Project
The Campaign Readiness Project is a train-to-hire bootcamp pipeline at the DNC with the goal of supporting states in their recruitment, training, and hiring of diverse, talented, and local staff for specific roles on coordinated campaigns. They currently offer two tracks for folks with entry-level experience and for those with a couple campaign cycles of experience. They are focused in Virginia, New Jersey, Arizona, Georgia, Wisconsin, Michigan, North Carolina, Nevada, and Pennsylvania for the 2022 election cycle.
5. CORO Southern California Fellows Program in Public Affairs
CORO Southern California trains leaders in how decisions are made, how complex policies are shaped, and how to influence change across sectors. Their Fellows Program in Public Affairs is a full-time, 9-month experience based program that includes field placements, seminars, leadership interviews, and focus weeks. Stipends are available based on financial need.
6. County of L.A. Internship programs
In addition to the internships offered for students and youth listed above, the County of L.A. also offers several internship programs for recent college graduates, people with graduate degrees, and veterans. These opportunities provide on-the-job training and work experience. Read more about the programs available.
Programs For Professionals
1. The CORO Southern California Women in Leadership Program
CORO Southern California’s Women in Leadership Program helps women to advance their leadership, form relationships, promote change in various spheres, engage in peer coaching, and establish narratives for the professional world. The five two-day sessions are created for applicants who have at least seven years of work experience, a commitment to leadership, and have played a prominent role in decision-making. Tuition ranges between $3,000- $3,500 and partial, need-based scholarships are available.
2. New Leaders Council
New Leaders Council helps to allow reform centered around equality to take root by empowering community leaders. Their six-month training program offers networking, personal development, and skills development to promote change in a wide variety of issues. The ideal applicant should share in their values, be entrepreneurial in nature, and a team player. NLC Institute is free, although there are some fees associated with the program and scholarships are available.
3. The Blue Leadership Collaborative
The Blue Leadership Collaborative’s paid fellowship programs train folks to become campaign managers. The programs help participants to form authentic relationships, increase their confidence, gain new learning experience through webinars as well as training sessions, and have the opportunity to join campaigns. The ideal fellow is a Democrat who has experience with a minimum of two campaign cycles.
1. All Hands
All Hands is a curated resume bank that matches professionals who have previously worked in the tech, data, digital, or operations sectors with social impact job placements.
2. Arena Careers
Arena Careers offers a community for aspiring campaign staffers who connect with their mission of diversifying democracy. Their expansive network offers opportunities to network with potential employers. Once you create a profile you'll receive a daily email M-Th with job opportunities you can apply for in progressive politics. You can browse the platform for jobs or talent.
Inclusv works to help people of color advance in careers in the political sector. Their resources help everyone from recent graduates to veteran campaigners connect with new opportunities. They connect talent and employers in the worlds of political campaigns, nonprofits, government, civic-tech, gov-tech, government affairs, and businesses in politics and advocacy.
4. GAIN POWER Career Center
GAIN POWER offers a searchable jobs database that includes job openings in the public and private sectors.
5. Grassroots Analytics Job Board
Grassroots Analytics hosts a jobs board for political campaign job openings across the United States.
6. Room for Progress
Room is a community for professionals of color in politics that offers career coaching, job placements, and connections with employers.
7. EMILY’s List Job Bank
Sign up here to receive weekly emails from EMILY’s List with job openings and opportunities, or submit your resume to the job bank if you are interested in working on a political campaign. Note that their job bank is exclusively for campaign jobs.
1. Compass Fellowship
The Compass Fellowship offers free training, mentorship, and job opportunities over a span of 12 weeks to help participants put their tech skills to use on a campaign. Applicants do not need a college degree or experience in political work, but do need tech skills and experience.
2. EPIC Fellowship
The EPIC fellowship program is a five-month opportunity for Long Beach community leaders to gain leadership skills, build a network, and learn more about civic engagement. The program has a tuition fee of $750.
3. Leadership California
The California Issues and Trends Program is a year-long program that takes place in four sessions. Through focusing on a different issue in a different California region during each session, the program allows self-identifying women from the golden state to gain connections, inspiration, and knowledge.
4. People For The American Way
People For The American Way aims to form a democratic society that promotes fundamental rights, breaks down hardships to equal opportunity, and stimulates civic participation. Their Young People For (YP4) program attracts college-aged students that want to be progressive leaders and provides networking and experience. Additionally, each fellow creates a Blueprint for Social Justice to reform a local issue.