How it Works
Lead of North Carolina is affiliated with Lead for America. Lead for America’s mission is to build a leadership force of moral, dynamic, and locally-rooted leaders committed to serving the communities they call home in every corner of this country. LFNC embodies this mission by recruiting, training, and placing the state’s most promising young leaders in paid local government fellowships as a means of strengthening our public institutions, supporting our local communities, and cultivating a new generation of public service leaders.
1. Select students
Lead for North Carolina (LFNC) recruits the state’s most outstanding and diverse college students and recent graduates. We are specifically looking for students with a demonstrated commitment to public service and a wish to return to, or remain in, a community they are already connected to. Recruitment begins junior year and is comparable to that of corporate sector peers. LFNC emphasizes reaching low-income and first generation college students, women, people of color, and military veterans. For the 2022 cycle, LFNC has 25 placement sites across the state.
2. Select host governments
Local governments apply to host a Fellow. Lead for North Carolina works with local governments that are extremely limited in their financial resources to identify private support. The local government must be able to provide sufficient support and mentorship to the fellow to ensure a successful fellowship.
3. Train and support Fellows
Selected Fellows undergo up to a three-week summer training institute before their fellowship begins. They learn technical skills, undergo character and leadership development, and focus on developing equity-focused innovative solutions. This includes graduate-level coursework, training from leading MPA programs, ongoing training throughout the fellowship, mentorship, retreats with other Fellows, as well as workshops through local government associations and universities.
4. Serve local communities
In the immediate term, fellows provide critical technical assistance to local governments. Fellows work on a variety of projects addressing economic development, community health, disaster relief and resilience, and education. Additionally, fellows are also highly encouraged to volunteer and be civically engaged in the community in other ways.
5. Build a bench of community and civic leaders
In the long run, we produce an alumni force with the talent, conviction, insight, and experience to effect the fundamental changes necessary to realize our vision of a strong community for everyone. Our alumni will continue to work as change agents in government and as community leaders in small business and community-based nonprofits. LFNC measures for geographic retention of the Fellows and provides access to career and graduate school opportunities across multiple sectors that are rooted in service and commitment to community.