Are you passionate about tackling the environmental and social equity challenges facing communities today while launching a social purpose career?

The application period for the 2019-2020 CivicSpark service year has closed.

Education Award Update!

Governor Newsom, recently signed a state budget investing in the power of service as part of his vision to help realize a “California For All” by addressing critical community needs through people power. The budget includes a one-time State General Funds to expand AmeriCorps State service opportunities and to supplement the federal Segal Education Award ($6,095), awarding participants in the 2019-20 service year with a $3,905 California For All Education Award. That’s a total of $10,000 in Education Awards for the upcoming service year!

What is AmeriCorps?

AmeriCorps is a national civil society program created to address the needs of local communities. AmeriCorps engages 75,000 Members annually who complete intensive service to meet community needs in education, health, public safety, security, and the environment. Since 1994, AmeriCorps Members have served over 1.4 billion hours for their communities. CivicSpark Fellows are AmeriCorps Members, serving full time, completing a total of 1,700 hours over 11 months and working to support local communities, while gaining valuable experience and training. For more information about AmeriCorps, visit AmeriCorps is administered by CaliforniaVolunteers and sponsored by the Corporation for National and Community Service.

What does it mean to be a CivicSpark Fellow?

Fellows are matched with a host partner agency and are given at least one project, which benefits at least one local government agency. Projects are spread throughout regions across California, including the Central Coast, San Joaquin Valley, Greater Los Angeles, San Diego area, Inland Empire, Sacramento area, Sierra Nevada, and San Francisco Bay area. Through project work, Fellows will gain hands-on experience tackling the most urgent environmental and social equity problems facing communities today, while growing their professional, technical and leadership skills, and building a strong network of resilience professionals.

If you missed our CivicSpark Fellow Informational Webinars, you can view a recording here to learn more about the program and the application and interview process!

For a list of projects for the upcoming 2019-20 service year, visit “Our Projects” page.

While each project is unique, all CivicSpark Fellows provide support to local government agencies through a common four-step approach designed to help Fellows make meaningful use of their time within their projects, agencies, and communities:

  • Gap Assessments:  In order to understand their agency’s resiliency needs and goals, at the start of the service year, Fellows interview their agency’s staff and review key documents  and then work with their Site Supervisor and our staff to finalize their project goals, and a project scope they can implement over the service year.
  • Service Projects: Fellows spend roughly 80% of their service year implementing a specific research, planning, or implementation project based on the gap assessment results. Research projects involve analyzing and evaluating community issues, needs and potential solutions (e.g. inventorying current and projected greenhouse gas emissions or surveying affordable housing needs); planning projects involve developing a specific action plan for a target audience (e.g. bicycle / pedestrian plans or stormwater management plans); and implementation projects involve launching projects with measurable outcomes (e.g. monitoring broadband access or piloting a free transit pass program).
  • Volunteer Engagement: Fellows have the opportunity to foster community engagement and address community needs by establishing new volunteer programs or enhancing existing programs within or related to their service work.
  • Transitioning Expertise: To wrap up the service year, Fellows share their findings, summary of work and next steps. These take the form of a transitional report, and presentations or trainings with staff and stakeholders.

Across all projects, CivicSpark Fellows will get exceptional real-world experience, spending their service year working alongside regional leaders and coordinators to implement cutting-edge resiliency projects for forward-looking communities. All Fellows will leave the service year with a better understanding of work within local governments, experience working on critical emerging environmental and social equity issues, and the ability to work successfully in a team office setting. Benefits include:

  • Mentorship and supervision.
  • Training on sector-specific tools and techniques.
  • Statewide networking with local, regional and state leaders.
  • An outcome-driven project management experience in growing and critically important fields.
  • Stipend, student loan deferral, health care, and child care support, if needed.

Project Types

CivicSpark Fellows work on environmental and social equity projects such as






2019-20 Recruitment / Service Year Calendar

Like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagramand subscribe to our CivicSpark newsletter to stay up to date!


April 1

CivicSpark Fellow Application opens!

April 15

First round interviews begin for early applicants.

May 1

Second round interviews begin for early applicants.

June 1

Priority deadline to submit Fellow Applications.

Mid June

Interviews with project partners begin.

Late June

Offers begin for early applicants.

September 3-7

In-person Fellow Orientation for 2019-20 cohort.

September 10

Local projects are underway!


In-person Mid Year Gathering for 2019-20 Cohort.

Late July

CivicSpark’s 2019-20 Cohort graduates!


CivicSpark Fellows must have completed at least a 4-year degree and ideally have relevant experience in a related field. An ideal candidate will have the following characteristics:

AmeriCorps Requirements

  • Be a citizen, national, or lawful permanent resident alien of the United States*
  • Ability to pass FBI, CA Department of Justice, out-of-state (if applicable), and National Sex Offender Public Registry background checks prior to service

CivicSpark Requirements

  • A 4-year degree (i.e. BA/BS) from an accredited college or university
  • Commitment to the full term of service (11 months, 1,700 hours)
  • Capability to work in a professional office setting
  • Strong communication (both verbal and written) and teamwork skills

Strongly preferred

  • A degree in a related field
  • One year of relevant experience
  • Past service experience (e.g., volunteering, community service, etc.)
  • Experience with, or training in, outreach, facilitation and/or education


  • Experience with local government operations and structures
  • Comfort with quantitative work, including data collection and analysis

This is an equal opportunity position and we prefer to place candidates who already live in the communities they will serve.

*At this time, we are unfortunately unable to accept applicants with student visas (such as F1 or F2 student visas, J1 or J2 exchange visitor visas, G series visas, etc.), or those with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status.


CivicSpark Fellows will receive the following benefits during their service year:

  • $20,000 Living Allowance (before taxes) spread evenly over 11 months
  • $6,095 Segal Education Award (at completion of service)
  • $3,905 California For All Education Award (at completion of service)
  • SNAP (Food Stamps) – for those eligible
  • Forbearance on existing qualifying student loans and payment of interest accrued during service
  • Health insurance
  • Childcare assistance to qualifying fellows, paid to an eligible provider of your choice
  • Professional development training
  • Network development with regional and statewide contacts in your project field.
  • Connection to a network of hundreds of CivicSpark alum, and hundreds of thousands of AmeriCorps alums