Civic Service Fellowship

“Rhizome offers free, research-based civic education communities to promote youth leadership and student voice…Rhizome has created an inspiring, student-led, and high-impact approach to civic engagement.”
- Peter Levine, Associate Dean of Tufts University and Former Director of CIRCLE


Civic Service Fellows are equipped with the tools to become insightful, joyful, and purposeful leaders. Rhizome is a student-led space for action and ideas, a home for emerging leaders to create the world you want to live in.


  • Reflect on who you are and want to be
  • Develop real-world leadership skills
  • Make a positive, long-term impact
  • Gain professional experiences
  • Practice inclusive teamwork
  • Receive service hours


Fellows lead Community Empowerment Events around the ideas you care most about each fall, teach democracy to K-5 students each winter, and run HS voter education drives each spring. With the support of Organizers, Fellows will build close-knit teams, shape your own civic identities, and lead local actions.


From Fall 2023 until May 2024, Fellows will engage with us for 2-3 hours per week.

After applying, there are three simple steps to becoming a Civic Service Fellow:
  1. Interview with an Organizer
  2. Join our Weekly Welcome Call
  3. Join your local Chapter Meeting


Fellowship applications take just 10 minutes to complete. Apply online today to begin your journey to changing your community!

Apply to the Fellowship

Who Are We Looking For?

We value the intrinsic worth and insight of each person, no matter how old or young, no matter where they are from, no matter their background.

The Civic Service Fellowship is proven to help young people live more meaningful, confident, and closely connected lives. It is open to all high school students who want to boost civic engagement, empower other young people, and help their peers feel a sense of belonging in their communities.

No prior leadership experience is required, as we have built the Fellowship to provide healthy early exposures to civic life and put students on paths to lifelong leadership. We invite high school students to join us in building leadership skills, practicing civic habits, and improving conditions in your local community.

Local Chapters

We know that each school is different, and that one-size-fits-all does not work. We’ve built the Civic Service Fellowship to be adaptable to the specific needs of each community. We meet emerging leaders where they are and allow them to coordinate action in local networks rather than taking action in isolation.

Our institution-based model also offers long-term sustainability, so that we don’t abide by cyclical patterns or redesign our systems each year. Rather, we empower Fellows to build student-led civic spaces that have staying power and that evolve quickly as we learn together. As William James wrote over 100 years ago, nearly all human growth happens in spots.

We’re working to build a culture of “yes.” Whatever Civic Service Fellows want to take action around to improve their local communities - as long as it is nonviolent, nonpartisan, and inclusive - we’ll provide support to lead action around it because we prioritize the agency of Fellows.


Teacher Champions support Rhizome by connecting their compassionate and engaged students to the Civic Service Fellowship. We offer resources through weekly after school trainings, so educators can be as hands off as they see fit after connecting students to the fellowship!

*In our experience, students grades 9-11 tend to be the most enthusiastic and engaged.


  1. Create a new civic service club in their school
  2. Integrate the Fellowship with another club (NHS, Key Club, Student Gov)
  3. Lead local actions without creating a formal club


Our ask of Educators is to share our Fellowship with students and support them if and how you see fit. Once Fellows join us, we will provide all the support they need so teachers can be hands off!

Sign Up Now

Educators, please share this sign-up link with your high school students who'd be interested in joining the Fellowship!

Fellowship Sign Up