Advancing Leaders Fellowship

World Learning alumni are inspiring, passionate and innovative individuals committed to creating positive change in the world. Together they form a community of global leaders. To engage alumni and support their growth as thought leaders, World Learning has created the Advancing Leaders Fellowship program.  

The Advancing Leaders Fellowship program recognizes the ideas, talent, and vision of World Learning alumni by providing comprehensive training in social innovation, project management and leadership; and by supporting selected high-achieving fellows with grants and a network of mentors and peers so that fellows can implement an original social innovation project in their home communities. 

Out of a pool of 159 World Learning alumni representing 31 programs and 57 countries, 46 participants were selected for World Learning’s 2015 Advancing Leaders Fellowship program. The selected participants represent 20 World Learning programs and 27 countries from six regions of the world. The first part of the program began on June 16, 2015 with an online training course on social innovation, project design, project implementation, monitoring and evaluation, proposal writing and fundraising. Toward the end of the three-month course, participants have the option of submitting a proposal for project funding of up to $5000 for a social innovation project in their community.  In late August 2015, proposals will be reviewed and evaluated by a selection committee made up of World Learning board members, faculty, staff, and alumni. Seven Fellows will be announced in early September 2015 and invited to an award ceremony that will take place in late October 2015 in San Francisco, California. At the award event, the Fellows also will be paired with mentors who will guide them through the implementation phase of their social innovation projects until April 2016.

Of the 46 participants in the online training course, 26 are female and 20 are male.  The age range of participants is 16-42, with the majority being 21-26 years old.  The Global Undergraduate Exchange program (UGRAD) represents the largest number of selected participants, but the cohort also includes alumni of 19 other World Learning programs, including Education, Professional Exchanges, SIT Study Abroad, SIT Graduate Institute, Youth Programs, the Experiment in International Living, Civil Society and Governance, and the International Honors program.

This is excellent, a great opportunity for [World Learning] alumni! I believe committing your own resources to supporting competitively-selected participants globally, over and above your contractual agreement with us, and beyond your call of duty that supports [our] participants … is by all means an attestation of your commitment to advancing organizational development.

World Learning donor


Read blogs by past Advancing Leaders Fellows

Read more about the 2014 award event and the fellows' projects.

For more information regarding the Advancing Leaders Fellowship, please contact Jessica Mead at


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