We have a problem: our best and brightest talent isn't tackling our toughest issues. But we have good news too: our youngest generation is hungry to take these challenges on — especially in the places they call home. Lead For America leans into this drive by creating community-centered public service programs for our most passionate and capable young people to help make their communities strong, vibrant, and compassionate. 

Our programs seek to direct homegrown talent where it's needed most — often in towns and counties where the challenges are outpacing the resources available. We look for community members who prioritize humility, service, and collective impact over self-advancement, who are just as committed to developing their character as they are their careers, and who are willing to question and vigorously pursue the intersection of their talents and the world’s deep need.

Our Programs

Joe Grochmal, Hometown Fellow '19

"I was drawn to the fellowship by my desire to contribute to the continued success of my hometown and to work alongside other young people with similar hopes, dreams, and passions for their communities."

— Joe Grochmal, Fellow
Fellows at Catalyst Institute '19

Our Grounding

Our Mission

By 2040, 1 million of our nation's most dynamic and diverse leaders working on our communities' toughest challenges.

Our Commitment

We commit to diversity and inclusion. To equity. To compassion in all we do. And to the courage to envision a better future.

Our Values

Service in Sacrifice | Equity in Action | Embodied Integrity

Innovation in All Things | Fearless Transparency 

Our Vision

A more perfect union built upon communities that care.

Our Progress to Date

93 Fellows
in 81 different communities 
45 Corps Members
selected and supported
State affiliates launched in
North Carolina + Minnesota
Fellows at Catalyst Institute
Advocated for
Domestic GI Bill
Summer Fellows in 4 states
$2.5 million+ raised to support local change-making.
90% of all funds raised locally.
100% of fellowships funded by host contracts and local



Convergent leadership is Lead For America’s central theory of leadership. Inspired by the lives and work of those who have dedicated themselves to service, we developed this model to act as a foundation for everything that we do. Each LFA community member strives to embody convergent leadership: we hold ourselves accountable to what it asks of us, use it to inform strategic decisions, and look to the model to ground our training and learning.


To be a convergent leader is to show that another way of living is possible. Convergent leaders strive to operate at the intersection of foresight, service, innovation, and justice, balancing a rootedness in community with a profound understanding of their own change-making potential. To be a convergent leader is to continuously strive towards this intersection. It is a life commitment.

Our Team 

National Staff

Chief Executive Officer,


Happiness Coordinator 

Communications and Special Projects Manager

Finance Manager

Recruitment and Selection Assistant

Community Partnerships Manager

Chief Program Officer

Community Partnerships Manager

Program Manager

Recruitment and Selection Manager

Chief Operating Officer, 


Affiliate Staff

Deputy Director, Lead For Minnesota

Lead For Nebraska, Executive Director

Lead For Nebraska, Deputy Director

Community Partnerships Manager, California

Executive Director, Lead For Minnesota; Co-Founder LFA

Executive Director, Lead For North Carolina;

Co-Founder LFA

Lead For Poughkeepsie, Deputy Director

Community Partnerships Manager, Kansas

Community Partnerships Manager, Kansas

Director of Programs, Lead For Minnesota

Lead For Poughkeepsie, Executive Director


Our Board

Board Chair

Board Member

Board Member

Board Member

Board Member

Board Treasurer

Get Involved

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Mailing Address:

Lead For America
PO Box 56

Dodge City, KS 67801

© 2019 Lead For America