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New Leaders Council

How to Apply

Applications for the 2019 class are open! Apply here.

What we look for in an NLC Fellow?

  • Commitment to progressives values.
  • Emerging in their career and generally between the ages of 25 and 40. 
  • Ability to benefit from NLC.
  • Commitment to the local community and to building the NLC presence locally.
  • Constructive team orientation and positive character. NLC prides itself on being a "family," not just a networking or training organization.
  • Ability to collaborative and be open-minded. 
  • High leadership potential, as evidenced by outsized early success. 
  • Contributes diverse and unique prospectives to the class.
  • Entrepreneurial spirit and ambition to lead. 

The Program

  • The NLC-San Antonio Institute is a 6-month rigourous leadership development and political entrepreneurship program.

  • Fellows learn the skills and establish the connections that will make them effective advocates for progressive policies and programs throughout the community:

    • Messaging & Framing: Strategic, Digital, & Public Speaking. 
    • Fundraising
    • Political Management & Coalition Building
    • Leadership & Progressive Values
    • Progressive Policy: Local, National, & Labor
    • Entrepreneurial Approaches to Problem-Solving

  • Fellows participate in a capstone project, creating a strategic plan encompassing overall long-term personal and professional goals. They also take the lead in a major fundraising project.  

  • Fellows accepted into the institute do not pay tuition. The program is free. Fellows are expected, however, to work together on a project to raise funds to pay for the next class. (Don't worry-you get plenty of help.)
  • A fellowship class is between 15 and 20 people.
    • The class size means that some fantastic applicants are not accepted. We keep the class small as that's how it works best, and we go for a dynamic and diverse mix of backgrounds in the class as a whole.
    • You can apply again for the following year, and stay connected by coming to our events and programs.
    • Some of our most outstanding NLC fellows around the country were not accepted the first time they applied. Or even the second. And some applied three or four times. 

Key Facts

  • The Institute meets one weekend per month, January - May. Plan on full days for both Saturday and Sunday; sometimes, we start a bit later or end a bit earlier, depending upon faculty availability and topic. Fellows must also take part in an orientation conference call, a fundraising event, and graduation.

  • The Institute dates for 2019 are listed below.
  • Fellows should expect to attend all of these dates. If you know in advance that certain dates will not work, please consider whether 2019 is the right year for you to apply, and feel free to discuss your situation with a board member:

    • January 26-27, 2019 - Institute
    • February 23-24, 2019 - Institute
    • March 23-24, 2019 Institute 
    • April 13-14, 2019 - Institute
    • May 18-19, 2019 - Institute (Capstone)
    • TBD - NLC Chapter Fundraiser (an evening event)
    • TBD - Graduation (an evening event)

  • As a national policy, NLC requires Fellows to attend at least four of the five full weekend trainings to graduate. Additionally, Fellows are NOT allowed to miss the first weekend of the Institute program, January 26-27 and cannot miss Capstone presentations with fall during the May Institute. Because the program meets for only 10 days, applicants who know in advance that they cannot make one or more day are asked to consider delaying their application. Because of the small class size, absences by a Fellow have a great impact on the learning environment of the whole class. While we strongly encourage that you are present for ALL class days, Fellows are allowed only two excused absences during the last four months of the Institute period, which should only be used if absolutely necessary, I.E., work-related, illness, family emergency, unavoidable extracurriculars, or important personal event (e.g. wedding). 

  • Fellows who do not meet attendance policy requirements, which will be outlined when an offer to join is extended, will not graduate. Illness and emergencies are obviously unanticipated and fellows and the institute team can address those situations as they arise.

  • There will be a chapter wide fundraising event and a Fellow graduation ceremony in June.  All Fellows must take part in the planning and execution of the events.

  • Each fellow must complete a capstone project over the course of the Institute. While the project need not have concluded, or even started, before the Institute ends, all fellows are expected to give a brief presentation on the project during that final weekend. 

  • Fellows are encouraged to apply to join the board once they have completed the institute to continue their leadership development and help shape and mentor future classes. 

The Application Process

  • The application process starts each May, and closes October 1. 

  • Keep in mind:
    • The deadline is firm. 
    • No late applications will be considered.
    • You should start early so you don't have to worry about missing the deadline in the last-minute crush.
    • We're really serious about this.

  • There is a $30 nonrefundable application fee.

  • The application process is competitive. Not all who apply will get in. 

  • The application process considers applicants as individuals, but also factors in how potential fellows will work together. 

  • Because we look at overall class fit, and because more qualified people apply than we can accept, each year, some really phenomenal people are not accepted. We encourage those people to apply again. Many fellows from other NLC chapters were not accepted until their 3rd or 4th time applying.  
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