Join the Civic Service FellowshipMany Rhizome members standing together and smiling

Fellows are building inclusive teams, laying foundations for democracy, and leading actions in Chapters throughout the U.S.


Rhizome is a nonpartisan nonprofit co-founded by 90 young people across the U.S. in August 2021. Our purpose is to build collective power for young people to create the safer, happier, and healthier world they want to live in.

We are committed to power sharing, as students vote on all nominees to our Board of Directors, decide the unified actions we take, and vote to shape changes to Rhizome’s overall goals, vision, and shared work environment. By inviting students to gain leadership experience and build habits based on who they want to become, we promote youth mental health, inspire responsibility, and create paths to lifelong leadership.

Rhizome is a space for action and ideas, a home for emerging youth leaders to create the world we want to live in. We value inclusivity and peer-mentorship, as no previous leadership experience is required for high school students to join the Civic Service Fellowship!

Early Learnings

Youth Organizers led 24 Chapters of the Civic Service Fellowship in SY 2023-2024. Fellows experienced greater civic efficacy, willingness to build bridges, and self-confidence as leaders - as well as improved determinants of mental health along all six dimensions of Ryff's Scale of Psychological Well-Being - while making a tangible impact in their communities. Our experiment in democracy is working:


high schools with teams of Civic Service Fellows


peers who Fellows helped register or pre-register to vote in spring ‘22 and ‘23


of Fellows recommend Rhizome to others who want to increase civic engagement or build actions in community

Identity Within Rhizome

Rhizome equips young people with the tools to become compassionate and effective lifelong leaders. Our community is made up of Fellows from all walks of life, and is grounded by three pillars:


Building relationships, conversations, actions


Choosing and shaping the actions we take


Focusing on the moral impact we want to make


of Fellows identify as Latino/a


of Fellows identify as AAPI


of Fellows identify as Black


of Fellows identify as White


of Fellows identify as Mixed-Race


of Fellows identify as SWANA


of Fellows identify as Native

Where Do We Go From Here?

Some things are easier done than said.

In an era when mental health has been declining for two decades, the root causes of the crisis run deeper than politics. Politics is an outgrowth of culture, just the tip of the iceberg. Any long-term solution for national well-being must start at the level of culture: who we are, how we spend our time, and how we treat each other.

We believe the only way for our country to heal - for us to create a safer, happier, and healthier society - is with time. Young people must come together to build systems that fit the needs of modern people, modern conditions, modern tensions. Our faith in meliorism is why we build civic power for young people to create the world they want to live in.

This is why we have worked so carefully to create a student-led, self-organizing system. It is why we are nonpartisan, with loyalty to people over party. And it is why we are deeply focused on the work ahead: waiting to be done, to be thought, to be felt.

Join Us

Whether you are a high school student beginning your leadership journey or an adult who cares about the future of our country, we'd love to have you with us: