Travis Ghirdharie, Hometown Fellow '19



community leaders nationwide

... begins with our education system. Lead For America’s focus on education rests upon the reality that meaningful civics education and engagement is critical to cultivating adept, informed, and intentional leaders. 


Currently, our education initiatives — such as GovChallenge and Summer Fellowship — focus on building partnerships between leaders and public institutions to get talent working on challenging problems in local governments and to empower people to be agents of change. 

Fatima Taj,
Summer Fellow 

"As a student, I appreciate Lead For America helping me connect with work I feel passionate about. They helped me cement my interests in law and government while also making an impact."

— Fatima Taj, Summer Fellow

"GovChallenge is a call for us to think creatively. It is refreshing to be challenged to think and engage my creative mental-muscle. It gave me the opportunity to take initiative to identify and offer a solution to a grand problem." 

— Priscilla Heaton, GovChallenge
Priscilla Heaton, GovChallenge '19

“The challenge was enriching because I was able to work with some fantastic people and put forth a solution that was comprehensive, innovative, and forward-looking…Although we placed second in the competition, I feel closer to the community since working on this challenge, and I am grateful for the bonds I have forged with my colleagues.”

— Sean O'Brien, GovChallenge

LFA University Chapter System & GovChallenge

Who We Are:

Lead for America works to ensure that our country’s most dynamic and diverse young leaders are working on our toughest challenges. Lead for America's flagship program is the Lead for America Fellowship, which selects, trains, and places our nation’s most promising young leaders in two-year paid fellowships in local community organizations – such as local government, nonprofits, and community-based businesses – as a means of strengthening America’s public institutions, revitalizing our local communities, and cultivating a new generation of transformational community leaders.


The Chapter System:

LFA’s newest arm, the College Chapter System, is focused on furthering LFA's goal of providing pathways for aspiring civic leaders to create change in the communities that they call home. The College Chapter System is specifically designed to provide these opportunities for undergraduate students who are passionate about their communities, who are dedicated to making positive change, and who are willing to organize in their original or adoptive home to make that change. An interest in a future career in public service is a plus!


What You’ll Be Doing:

Chapter Founders for LFA’s College Chapter System will spearhead the launch of a student organization on their college campus focused on civic-engagement and will serve as President during the first year of the organization's tenure. In founding the student organization on campus, Chapter Founders will recruit members and an officer board, and conduct informational interviews with local community leaders to learn about the most challenging issues facing their local communities.


The Chapter Founder, along with the officer board and general body, will then design and launch entrepreneurial initiatives to engage with community leaders on local causes and issues. Sample initiatives, including our flagship GovChallenge case competition, are described below. Chapter Founders will receive access to the resources of the broader LFA community, and successful Founders are eligible for an accelerated interview process for LFA's Hometown Fellowship Program following their graduation.