Become a Fellow
Fellow Applications for the
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?
CivicSpark is an AmeriCorps program in which Fellows are matched with State, local, and community-based organization Project Partners to support community resilience projects. Through project service, Fellows gain hands-on experience tackling the most pressing environmental and social equity issues that communities in California are facing today. Projects are spread throughout regions all across California, from Los Angeles and San Diego to Humboldt County, from the Bay Area to the Sierra Nevada passing through the Central Valley and Sacramento. Fellows also build strong networks of sustainability professionals and grow their professional, technical, and leadership skills through service and training.
You can view examples of projects Fellows worked on in previous years on Our Projects page. Projects for the upcoming 2021-22 service year will begin to be added mid-March 2021.
While each project is unique, all CivicSpark Fellows provide support to public agencies through a common four-step approach designed to help Fellows make meaningful use of their time within their projects, agencies, and communities:
CivicSpark Fellows receive on-the-ground experience serving alongside regional leaders and community members to implement projects that increase the resilience of liveable communities. Fellows leave the service year with a better understanding of local government functions and responsibilities, experience addressing critical environmental and social equity issues, and coaching through individualized professional development plans.
- Project supervision and professionalism coaching.
- Training on sector-specific tools and techniques.
- Statewide networking with local, regional and state leaders.
- An outcome-driven project management experience in critically important fields.
- Living allowance, student loan deferral, health care, and child care support, if needed.
CivicSpark Fellows work on environmental and social equity projects such as
CivicSpark Fellows must have completed at least a two year Associate Degree (AA) and ideally have experience in a related field. An ideal candidate will have the following characteristics:
- Be a citizen, national, or lawful permanent resident 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 2-year degree (AA) 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 will receive the following benefits during their service year:
- $20,000 Living Allowance (before taxes) spread evenly over 11 months
- $6,195 Segal 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