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. 

Beginning in April 2015, alumni of all World Learning programs are invited to apply to this fellowship program. The deadline for applications is May 29, 2015. Forty selected participants will begin a three-month online training course in June 2015 in project design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, and proposal writing. After successful completion of the course, seven fellows will be selected to receive funding for their projects and invited to an award ceremony in October 2015, where they will be paired with mentors who will provide guidance on designing sustainable social innovation programs. Fellows’ travel expenses for the award ceremony will be paid by World Learning. Mentors will work with the fellows as they implement their projects over the following six months.

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

Program Timeline

April 16, 2015: Application opens at 

May 29, 2015: Application Deadline

June 15 to September 5, 2015: Online Project Management Course

September 18, 2015: Notification of Fellowship Awards

Late October 2015: Fellowship Award Event in San Francisco, California

November 2015 to April 2016: Fellows implement social innovation projects

Profile of a Fellow

A fellow will demonstrate:

  • Strong leadership;
  • Entrepreneurial vision, creativity, and resourcefulness;
  • A passion for serving and empowering others;
  • Sufficient experience and skill to carry out his/her project; and
  • Knowledge of and/or relationships with the community where he/she will implement his/her project.

A fellow will be eligible if he/she:

  • Has successfully completed a World Learning program (members of a host family are not considered alumni);
  • Has an original idea that addresses a significant social issue;
  • Has not received a World Learning fellowship in the past;
  • Is proficient in the English language; and
  • Is not a current World Learning employee.

Read blogs by past Advancing Leaders Fellows.

How to Apply

Apply online by May 29, 2015 at 

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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