At this time of urgency, local leadership is more important than ever. But so often our communities lack representative leadership and struggle to attract and retain new talent. Lead For America is working to build a movement of homecoming for the next generation of leaders committed to addressing our nation’s most significant challenges.


Through our pathways programs, we recruit, train, and place locally-rooted, dynamic leaders in communities across America to address critical community challenges while strengthening the civic fabric of their towns. We prioritize locations where the narrative of success too often means leaving and never coming back.


These leaders commit to serving their communities for the long term and through their participation in LFA's program, are equipped with the technical skills, leadership development, and cohort community needed to support the revitalization of their community.

 National Hometown Fellowship   Hometown Fellows return to a place they call home to serve for two years in high-impact, high-urgency placements while building up the community ecosystem of their hometown.

 State Based Fellowship  
State-Based Fellows join a cohort of leaders to saturate a state’s community institutions in service of a more cohesive, collaborative statewide infrastructure. 

 Fellowship Tracks  
Fellows have the opportunity to help address a national crisis within their community by joining one of our track-based fellowships. Whether it's bridging the digital divide or making communities healthier, Fellows will learn and use specific skills to make a difference.


Fellowship Pathways

Click on each pathway box to learn more


National Hometown Fellowship

Flagship Fellowship

Lead For America’s flagship Hometown Fellows program builds the leadership force we need to address our nation's critical challenges at scale. The fellowship exists to change the narrative of success and worth in our country, and to ensure that every child has a chance at a better life, no matter their neighborhood or family circumstances.


The fellowship is a two year commitment for dynamic and diverse leaders who return to their hometown communities and work full-time alongside local public institutions implementing proven strategies to improve community wellbeing.


Affiliate Programs

Being rooted in place is critical for our national movement of creating strong and sustainable communities, and that is why Lead For America has created a state-based affiliate model across the nation. Affiliates bring together local governments, community and business leaders, and dedicated Fellows to saturate a state’s community institutions in service of a more cohesive, collaborative statewide infrastructure. Fellows who are members of their state's affiliate take part in the national training programs, including the Catalyst Institute, 1:1 mentorship, and retreats. Affiliate Fellows join and become members a growing community of local changemakers.


Applicants must already be living in one of the following affiliate states, or have a strong connection with the desire to relocate to that state if accepted. See below for the full list of our current state-based affiliates:

Fellowship Tracks

Communities across the United States are facing significant challenges: from COVID-19 and healthcare access, to broadband access and digital inclusion. The talent and leadership this moment requires is born into every community in the nation, and LFA Fellows have the opportunity to help address these nationwide challenges within their community by joining one of our track-based fellowships. As part of the national network, track-based Fellows will have access to premiere national training on community organizing and field-related skills, alongside developing a network of homecomers from across the country.