Rising Leaders Fellowship

We are no longer accepting applications for the 2018 Rising Leaders Fellowship


Now in it's fourth year, the Rising Leaders Fellowship supports the professional development of individuals in entry to mid-level positions within youth serving outdoor programs. Specifically, Youth Outside targets individuals who are enthusiastic about connecting youth to the outdoors in culturally relevant and inclusive ways by affecting culture change within their organizations. The Rising Leaders Fellowship builds professional capacity while creating a supportive network of like-minded leaders through a project based cohort series that focuses on social justice and equity in the outdoors. Please find an informational sheet here for more details. 

Program Overview

A cohort of up to twenty fellows will be selected to participate in an 8-session series that runs from April through December 2018. Participants are expected to participate in all three of the components outlined below. The Fellowship will culminate with participant led presentations on the benefits to youth of increased cultural relevancy in programs.

In-person sessions: The in-person sessions will consist of capacity building modules, peer coaching and community building. These sessions will focus on personal and organizational development. Participants will be required to bring internal documents for learning purposes. A list of topics and the required documents can be found below.

Increased Relevancy Project: Fellows will be asked to identify opportunities for increased cultural relevancy within their organization and develop a plan of action that addresses one or more identified opportunities. Inside of smaller work groups, fellows will serve as peer coaches through this process and will present on their efforts and findings at the culminating session.

Individual Coaching: Each participant will have the opportunity to receive up to three hours of individual coaching. The purpose of coaching is to explore areas of personal and/or professional development in a supportive environment.

Topics & Objectives

  • Social Justice – Explore related concepts and practices to move toward a just society; examine the historical context of exclusion in the United States and how this impacts youth.  

  • Power & Privilege – Examine power and privilege dynamics and the impact these can have on youth; explore opportunities to leverage power and privilege.

  • Intentional Communication – Examine effective and intentional communication strategies for authentic relationship building between staff and youth.

  • Strategic Planning – Analyze organizations’ strategic plans and if/how equity and inclusion are incorporated into the plan; explore opportunities to ground strategic plans in youth narrative.

  • Youth Development – Explore the concept of trauma-informed youth development and identify opportunities to increase cultural relevancy in youth programming.

  • Curriculum Development – Analyze curriculum for implicit bias and explore avenues to incorporate youth voice in curriculum and programs.

  • Fund Development – Examine the ways in which youth narrative is being communicated; explore how deficit-minded fundraising can harm youth.

Program Schedule

Session 1: Thursday, April 19, 2018

Session 2: Thursday, May 17, 2018

Session 3: Thursday, June 21, 2018

Session 4: Thursday, August 16, 2018

Session 5: Thursday, September 20, 2018

Session 6: Thursday, October 18, 2018

Session 7: Thursday, November 15, 2018

Session 8: Thursday, December 13, 2018

Application Process

You can find the Rising Leaders Application here

Application Priority Deadline: Must be submitted to jodie@youthoutside.org by 5PM, Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Application Final Deadline: 5PM on Friday, March 16, 2018

Interviews: March 19 – April 6, 2018

Selection Announcement: April 9, 2018

For more information about the program or questions regarding the application, please contact Jodie Darensbourg, Operations Associate, at 510-839-0731 or jodie@youthoutside.org.