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New Leaders Council

The Application Process

Applications for the 2016 New Leaders Council fellowship classes in Austin, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio will open online on August 3, 2015. Below is a quick overview of what the process is like. We’ll dedicate another blog post to what we look for in an NLC Fellow.

Our chapter will host a launch event to introduce our board members, as well as at least one other information session, so potential fellows can ask questions about the program and process. The Institute dates will also be posted on our website by application time so that you can be sure you are available to participate if selected.

Before you apply, be sure that you can attend the entire Institute. Absence policies exist for true emergencies, but because the Institute meets just one weekend a month January through May, we expect those who commit to be present all weekend, each weekend.

The application process looks like this:

  1. Answer some basic questions and submit a $30 nonrefundable application fee.
  2. Answer more in-depth questions, including two short essays.
  3. Some candidates will then be invited for interviews.

We are committed to a respectful, fair, confidential, and thorough evaluation of all candidates. Everything is scored anonymously according to a rubric by several different people to remove as much subjectivity as possible.  

While scores from the application process carry significant weight, in the final phase, the board evaluates the overall class composition for overall fit and diversity.

What does “fit and diversity” mean? The board strives to select a group that will work well together, learn from each other, and represent a truly diverse range of professions, experiences, backgrounds, and communities. No NLC fellowship class will ever be composed entirely of bankers, or only of women who grew up on the same side of town, because that would undermine the strength of the program. NLC works because we connect progressives from all sectors who might not have met or worked together but for the program.

Applicants will be notified of the selection results by the second week in December, and a short waiting list will be maintained in case those selected cannot commit to attend the entire Institute.

With such a small fellowship class, and a commitment to a broad level of diversity, some impressive young progressives will be accepted, and some who are equally impressive will not. We encourage those we cannot accept to apply again for the next year.


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