Our 2020-21 Fellow Recruitment is Closed

We will be opening up recruitment for our 2021-22 Service Year in early 2021.

However, we are proud to announce a new partnership with California Volunteers to launch the new California Climate Action Corps and will be recruiting 50+ Fellows with Host Partners for a January – August Service Term.

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 Project Partners (state, local and community-based organizations) to serve on at least one project, which benefits at least one local public agency. Through project service, Fellows gain hands-on experience tackling the most pressing environmental and social equity problems facing communities today. 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 service and training, Fellows also grow their professional, technical and leadership skills, and build strong networks of resilience professionals.

For a list of projects for the upcoming 2020-21 service year, visit “Our Projects” page. With ever changing community resilience needs, CivicSpark has added COVID recovery efforts as a potential component of projects for the upcoming year, and that may be reflected in some of several of the project descriptions.

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.

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.

Benefits include:

  • 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.

2020-21 Fellow Application / Service Year Calendar

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**At this time, CivicSpark is planning to continue with our current 2020-21 service year timeline, but given such a fluid situation with COVID-19, plans may change. We will keep our COVID FAQ page updated with current info.**


November 11

CivicSpark Fellow Priority Application opens!

Mid-Late November

First round interviews begin for priority applicants.

March 30

CivicSpark Regular Application period opens.

Mid-March to Early April

Second round interviews begin for priority applicants.


First round interviews begin for regular applicants.

May 1

CivicSpark Late Application period opens.


Priority applicants begin interviews with project partners.

Early June

Second round interviews begin for regular applicants.

Offers begin for priority applicants.


Regular applicant interviews begin with project partners.

Late June

Offers begin for regular applicants. Second round interviews with late applicants begin.

September 1-30

Virtual Orientation for 2020-21 Fellow Cohort.

September 8

Local projects are underway!

Early March

Mid Year Gathering for 2020-21 Fellow Cohort.

Mid-Late July

CivicSpark’s 2020-21 Fellow Cohort graduates!

Project Types

CivicSpark Fellows work on environmental and social equity projects such as







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 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
  • $6,195 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

Register for one of our monthly informational webinars to learn more!