Become a Fellow
CivicSpark helped me build more confidence in my skills as a professional. Working in a local government office full time really taught me crucial professional skills that I did not learn in school. I also grew as a person and am able to better represent myself in professional situations. CivicSpark was the step I needed to get into my current position as a UNEP intern, something I've dreamed about for a long time.
CivicSpark provided me an unbelievable opportunity to work with experts & professionals in the Climate Change and Transportation Planning fields. I got top notch training and mentorship from leaders in both Sacramento and the Central Valley in sustainable transportation and California climate initiatives. The CivicSpark experience helped me seamlessly get a position as a Transportation Planner with the State of California after graduation.
From CivicSpark, I was instilled with an ethic of service and justice that will be omnipresent in my work. I learned a lot about how our state of California addresses its challenges in water management, and also about what it means to be a changemaker in a professional capacity. Those first few months of work made a big impression on me, and I'm so happy I was able to spend my early professional career in such a dynamic, collaborative and learning-focused environment.
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 www.nationalservice.gov. 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.
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:
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.
CivicSpark Fellows work on environmental and social equity projects such as
2019-20 Recruitment / Service Year Calendar
- 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, 1,700 hours)
- 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 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 receive the following benefits for the term of their service year:
- $20,000 Living Allowance (before taxes) spread evenly over 11 months
- $6,095 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
- 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