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About Us

Lead For America began in 2017 as a dorm room startup and has grown to become one of the nation’s fastest-growing nonprofits and a model national service program.

Lead For America has created more than 300 paid full-time Fellowships across more than 40 states to date and is set to be the first national service program to support leaders across all 50 states.

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Progress

Grounding

Our Vision

A strong community for everyone.

Our Mission

To build a leadership force of moral, dynamic, and locally-rooted leaders committed to serving the communities they call home in every corner of this country.

Our Commitment

We commit to building strong communities through service and bringing people together across lines of difference.

Our Beliefs

Bridge Building | Commitment to Place | Service & Sacrifice | Love of Neighbor | Innovation in All Things

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Fellows at Catalyst Institute '19
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Fellows at Catalyst Institute
Advocated for
Domestic GI Bill & AmeriCorps expansion policy
Created Affiliates in 
Kansas, North Carolina, Minnesota, Hawaii, Nebraska, and Poughkeepsie, New York
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Our Impact Over the Last 5 Years

300+ Paid, Full-time Fellowships Created
in 150 different communities across 42 states
Over 90% of LFA Alumni
committed to serving their communities and states over the long-term
Over $145 Million
raised or secured by Fellows for their communities and efforts they are leading
Grounding
Values

Our Values

Lead For America is committed to building a leadership force of our nation’s most outstanding people to serve in the communities they call home, and to stitch our country back together through shared commitment to place and love of neighbor. The primary fault line in our country today is political and ideological difference, threatening our democracy and the ideals on which the United States was founded. Lead For America aims to be a binding agent for our country and actively recruits and welcomes host site placements, fellows, staff members, and partners from all ideological backgrounds. At Lead For America, we prioritize building bridges across ideological and social divides through relationships with those we disagree with. This means we sit in the discomfort of disagreement and press on together in our vision of creating a strong community for everyone.

Bridge Building

Many parts of our country may be divided, but we aim to bring people together. This means building bridges and friendships across lines of race, class, geography, education, faith, and ideology. Our community welcomes conservatives, liberals, and independents, urban and rural, young and old––anyone who is committed to making their home, and our country, better.

Service & Sacrifice

Great leadership is rare not because of a lack of competence, skill, or ambition, but because of a lack of character and integrity. We are building a community of public service leaders committed to service, not self-aggrandizement. and to doing the right thing, even when that comes at a cost.

Love of Neighbor

We commit to serving, and loving, those in our community. This particularly means and requires acting with love to people we disagree with and assuming the best of intentions. We are focused on stitching our country back together, and that starts with being in deep relationship with those in our community who may have very different worldviews or perspectives. This also means acting with love even when that is not returned. Love does not mean agreeing. You cannot have love without a commitment to truth.

Innovation in All Things

We are continually evaluating how to make our organization world-class. When we make a mistake, we name it and keep moving with a commitment to improvement. When we find a better way to do something, we embrace it without ego. Valuing innovation means never settling for “good enough.” It means pushing ourselves to new points of discovery, of accepting the challenge of working towards an expansive vision, and working diligently to ensure communities everywhere have the tools, leadership, and collective commitment needed to succeed.

Commitment to Place 

The decisions that most affect our daily lives are made at the local level. We believe those decisions are best made by those who are representative of the communities they serve, who have direct experience with the challenges they address, and who are dedicated to community above self. We also recognize this commitment must be sustained for the long-term. The challenges our communities and country face weren't created overnight, and they won't be solved overnight either. We are building leaders who are committed to their communities, and to public service, for the long-term.

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