Are you passionate about making a difference in your community and eager to gain experience addressing sustainability needs?
CivicSpark is a Governor’s Initiative AmeriCorps program dedicated to building capacity for local governments in California to address community resilience issues such as: climate change, water resource management, and access to opportunities. CivicSpark’s mission is to contribute to a more resilient and just California through National Service by:
- Building local government capacity to address entrenched and emerging issues;
- Serving as a social purpose career accelerator for future leaders; and
- Fostering lasting, authentic community engagement.
CivicSpark Fellows support the State’s response to sustainability issues by working with local governments over the course of their 11 month-service year to complete research, planning, and implementation projects. At the same time, Fellows receive substantial professional development training and access to a network of local, regional, and state sustainability leaders.
I would consider CivicSpark just the program I needed to jumpstart my career and provide me with more possibilities for my future. Additionally, I feel so grateful to have been part of the CivicSpark fellowship program. Beyond the professional development, I have also gained friendships, knowledge and expertise as well as a great community with the Sonoma County Energy and Sustainability Division.
I personally feel that CivicSpark has opened an endless collection of doors into many different sectors of society--certainly within the climate change, environmental and sustainability industries, but also with a variety of social justice movements that are connected in so many ways to the work that we are doing. I truly feel like we are strengthening communities--not singlehandedly, but as a collective group of passionate people working to get things done.
We are not all 'kids who just graduated from college', we are young professionals looking to introduce our skills and talents to a field about which many of us are passionate. We are looking to get a strong foot in that door. The times when CivicSpark helped to foster those kinds of opportunities, such as being able to participate at the California Adaptation Forum or the SEEC Forum or even meeting in professional environments, are the times I appreciated most.
CivicSpark has been excellent, because it pairs you with local leaders. It has been a huge professional development experience. It is the ultimate way to dive in head first without hitting your head on the bottom.
What does it mean to be a CivicSpark Fellow?
The program offers three thematic tracks: Climate (50 Fellows), Water (20 Fellows), and Opportunity Access (20 Fellows). Fellows are matched with a host partner agency and project, which benefits at least one local government agency. Fellows will serve for 1,700 hours over the course of their 11 month service year. Projects are spread through seven regions across the state, including the Central Coast, Greater Los Angeles, North Coast, Sacramento, San Francisco Bay Area, San Joaquin Valley, and Sierra Nevada. Through their project work, Fellows will have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in climate change response, integrated water management, affordable housing, and rural broadband, while learning technical skills and building a strong network of sustainability professionals.
Opportunity Access Track
All CivicSpark Fellows will provide support to local governments through the following four-step intervention model:
Day-to-day, CivicSpark Fellows will work on tasks ranging from data collection and analysis to community outreach. CivicSpark Fellows get unparalleled real-world experience, spending 11 months working alongside regional leaders and coordinators to implement cutting-edge sustainability projects for forward-looking communities. All Fellows will leave the service year with a better understanding of work within local governments, experience working on climate change, water resource management and opportunity access issues, and the ability to work successfully in a team office environment. Benefits include:
- Intensive mentorship and supervision.
- Training on the latest climate change, water management, and land-use tools and techniques.
- Statewide networking with local, regional and state leaders.
- An exceptional outcome-driven project management experience in a growing field.
- Stipend, student loan deferral, health care, and child care support, if needed.
To view the projects and host agencies for the upcoming 2018-19 service year, visit our 2018-19 Projects list. CivicSpark recently created a Project Concept Repository, which is a searchable database that contains examples of successful CivicSpark projects and project ideas. Applicants can use this database to gain a better sense of the type of work Fellows typically complete during a service year and see some of the results of past Fellows’ projects.
2018-19 Recruitment / Service Year Calendar
CivicSpark Fellow Application opens!
Priority deadline to submit Fellow Applications.
Second priority deadline to submit Fellow Applications.
We will continue accepting applications afterwards on a rolling basis depending on project availability, as preference is given to earlier applicants.
In-person Fellow orientation for 2018-19 cohort, which will go from September 4-8th in Sacramento, CA.
Local projects are underway!
CivicSpark’s 2018-19 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:
- 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
- A 4-year degree (i.e. BA/BS) from an accredited college or university
- Commitment to the full term of service (11 months)
- Capability to work in a professional office setting
- Strong communication (both verbal and written) and teamwork skills
- 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 grassroots organizing skills
- Experience with local government operations and structures
- Comfort with quantitative work, including data collection and analysis
- Climate Fellows: Experience with California climate change mitigation- and/or adaptation-related policies and practices
- Water Fellows: Experience with California water-related policies and practices and/or water use efficiency-related policies and practices
- Opportunity Access Fellows: Experience with equity, affordable housing, or rural broadband policies and practices
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 unfortuantely 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.
- $16,000+ Living Allowance (before taxes) spread evenly over 11 months
- $5,920 Segal Education Award
- 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
- Significant professional development training
- Network development with regional and statewide contacts in the sustainability field
- Valuable experience in the sustainability field and the local government sector
- Connection to a network of hundreds of CivicSpark alumni and hundreds of thousands of AmeriCorps Alums
Apply to become a CivicSpark Fellow!
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 serve 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 www.nationalservice.gov. AmeriCorps is administered by CaliforniaVolunteers and sponsored by the Corporation for National and Community Service.