The Annie E. Casey Foundation is pleased to announce a leadership development program for leaders ages 24 to 31 who are working to improve the life trajectory of children and their families most at risk for poor educational, economic, social and health outcomes. Emerging leaders, especially people of color, who are advocating for and supporting neighborhoods and communities where needs are the greatest and resources are few are encouraged to apply.
The Rising Leaders for Results Fellowship is a 21-month, multi-session program that provides opportunities to leaders early in their careers to sharpen and deepen their leadership skills, expand their horizons, advocate for themselves and grow their networks to accelerate their impact now and over the arc of their careers.
In January 2021, the Foundation announced its 10-year targeted investment to improve the well-being and prospects of youth and young adults, called Thrive by 25. Its focus is to make sure all young people have the family connections, relationships, communities and educational and employment opportunities they need to realize their true potential.
Thrive by 25 has introduced us to young leaders who are already working in nonprofit organizations and governmental agencies, leading movements, pursuing entrepreneurism and using their voices and talents in creative ways. They are making positive change in community life, education, public policy, communications and arts and culture — and advancing equity and justice.
The Foundation and its partners developed the Rising Leaders for Results Fellowship in response to expressions of interest from young leaders for building results- and equity-driven leadership skills early in their careers.
Results and Purpose of the Rising Leaders for Results Fellowship
The Rising Leaders for Results Fellowship seeks to make an investment early on in young leaders’ careers by preparing them to powerfully take up their role as results-driven and equity-focused leaders. To this end, participants in the program will:
- deepen their skills, will and capacity to ignite action with others to advance and achieve equitable outcomes;
- build the necessary “backpack” of leadership competencies, tools, experiences and relationships to use in their current roles and to support their leadership growth and development over time;
- address current leadership challenges that are getting in the way of achieving equitable results; and
- share their knowledge, life experiences, curiosity and aspirations with a network of peers and seasoned leaders for mutual support, consultation and cross-sector learning.
Key Components of the Rising Leaders for Results Fellowship
The program will bring together a cohort of 12 young leaders, ages 24 to 31, who are already working on behalf of their communities, to form a powerful learning community. Elements of the program include the following:
- Eight seminars and a booster session over 21 months that deepen participants’ competencies; expand their thinking especially around equity and strategy development; and explore and support their leadership aspirations.
- See the Rising Leaders for Results Fellowship calendar for seminar dates and locations.
- Note that the seminars are held approximately every two months to allow adequate time between seminars to apply new skills and advance work.
- The identification of an organizational or leadership challenge or result that will become the focus of each participants’ applied learning and action during the program.
- Work on this challenge or result will take place primarily “back home” between seminars and be refined during seminars as well as through faculty coaching calls and peer consultation. Participants will enlist partners back home to help move the needle on this work.
- Individual and small-group coaching by faculty and peer-to-peer-consultation with other participants.
- Webinars and small-group skill-building calls between seminars that deepen learning and connection.
- A site visit by a faculty member.
- Networking opportunities with seasoned leaders.
- The development of a customized leadership plan, called “Build Your Own Experience,” which permits the pursuit of individualized leadership development activities.
Bringing Value to Their Organizations
Participants will gain sharpened skills, network building, coaching, reflection time and more from this experience, and their organizations will benefit as well. Participants will bring the tools and skills of the program back into their organizations, apply them in real time to their jobs and enlist their colleagues and stakeholders in achieving accelerated results. To this end, participants MUST have the support of their employing organizations, and specifically of their supervisor, to use work time to participate in the program and to attend all seminars and other program activities. Self-employed or other applicants in unique employment arrangements should contact Barbara Squires with questions.
The Casey Foundation funds the cost of program participation, including:
- travel to and from program seminars, including travel-related expenses;
- meals during seminars;
- lodging during seminars;
- materials; and
- stipend toward childcare support during seminars, if needed.
Additionally, the Foundation will provide $8,000 over time in the form of unrestricted grant funds to each participant’s organization as an acknowledgment of the support of the organization for this investment in the rising leader. For participants who are self-employed, the Foundation will provide $8,000 over their time in the program, recognizing that program participation may conflict with some income-generating opportunities.