It’s Your Last Chance to Apply for the 2019 NGen Fellows Program

The deadline to apply to our 2019 American Express NGen Fellows program is Monday, March 11! If you’re a leader 40 or younger, you don’t want to miss your chance to apply. Here are some reasons why, plus some tips for submitting a successful application.

Reasons to Apply

1. You’ll develop critical leadership skills
The program curriculum has changed with the times! Last year, we rolled out learning outcomes that meet the needs of emerging changemakers. NGen Fellows learn how to:

  • Articulate self-awareness of your purpose, influences, values, leadership styles, assets, and support needs as leaders, and use the skill to engage and collaborate effectively
  • Understand how to use a results-based practice to define impact, develop strategies, measure performance, and be accountable for results
  • Understand how to use system change levers like public policy to make change happen
  • Apply a racial equity lens to address disparities in who, what, and how you do your social changework
  • Build adaptive leadership skills to engage in difficult conversations; solve sticky, complex problems with others; and manage change
  • Develop a network of peer sand gain access to influential leaders who can support your leadership development and impact

2. You’ll build a community of friends
No one can make meaningful impact alone, changemakers need to be able to tap resources to get things done. By participating in a fellowship in a tight cohort of only twelve individuals, you’ll be investing in one another through the process. The end result? Lifelong friends who can act as powerful resources helping you build change for years to come.

3. We need leaders like you
We run this program every year to invest in leaders with a demonstrated history of serving the common good. We need leaders like you as much as you might think you need leadership development. It’s tough to put time aside to focus on yourself and give yourself some breathing room to reflect on the reasons your pour yourself into the causes you move every day. Why not let us help you make that space?

Tips for submitting a great application

First off, applying is relatively straightforward. You submit a nomination form and receive an automatic email with information on how to apply.

Take note of the selection criteria and ensure that your application materials reflect why you meet the criteria for this program. The application component (which we’ve listed below!) take considerable thought. So, if you spend less than thirty minutes writing your short answer essays – odds are, you haven’t given your responses enough time and thought. Your responses should show us that you’ve taken the time to reflect and provide your best response.

Application components

1. Three short essay responses (mandatory)
These essays are where you can shine and be the most responsive to the six selection criteria. Demonstrate not only why this program would be important for you, but also show us that you can be vulnerable and open.

2. Resume (mandatory)
You can submit your resume as a PDF file or include a link to your LinkedIn profile. Please be sure to follow good resume etiquette: The content should be recent, concise, and tailored for this program.

3. Reference letter (highly recommended)
While a reference letter is no longer mandatory for consideration, applicants with a reference letter will be considered on priority. We understand it may be difficult to get a great reference letter turned around in time, so start now!

4. Multimedia/open format (optional)
Provide us with links to anything you believe exemplifies you and your changework. Maybe you have a fabulous video, podcast, blog post, photo(s), or something else you would like to share. Don’t hesitate! This open format allows you to express yourself beyond the written components of the application.

Now, I have to level-set with you here. Every year we receive a pool of incredibly talented next generation changemakers. Last year the acceptance rate hovered right above 6 percent. Keep that in mind when you’re submitting to make sure your submission reflects your best thinking. We look forward to reviewing everything that comes in by Monday, March 11 at 10am EST!

Finally, we leave you with this awesome video produced by two NGen Fellows program alumni, MacArthur Antigua (2011) and Stephen Bauer (2014) from Public Allies. They answer questions including what the selection committee looks for in successful candidates. We’re incredibly proud to have the continued support of our alums and their own!

As always, don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions. Shoot us a quick e-mail at

Types: Blog