Vallay Varro was a founding state executive director. She now serves as the president of 50CAN.

In the past three years, we’ve had thousands of dedicated activists around the country apply for 50CAN’s Education Advocacy Fellowship. We’re so humbled by the outpouring of interest in the program, and the ability to work alongside such dedicated leaders and grow the movement of education reform together.

Applications for the fellowship class of 2017 closed last month, and our staff have been working through a rigorous interview process for the applicants to select our third annual cohort by the fall of 2016.

Selected fellows will participate in a paid,​ 12-month program consisting of customized trainings, site visits, classroom-based learning and one-on-one mentoring with 50CAN’s executive directors. Once the yearlong fellowship is complete, fellows will have the opportunity to launch an education advocacy effort in their community.


We received an astounding 525 applications from across the country.

To put that into perspective, it would take more than 10 school buses to hold all the aspiring local leaders who are seeking the opportunity to build advocacy movements.


This year we received applications from 36 states and the District of Columbia. The top states were Texas, Florida and Michigan, where we received 50 or more applications per state.


The 50CAN fellowship aims to serve as an on-ramp for talented and committed individuals who are deeply connected to their communities to emerge as advocacy leaders with the support of both our national staff and experienced local advocates from across our network. This year, more than two-thirds of our applicants identified as women and nearly two-thirds identified as people of color.

We look forward to sharing more updates with you in the weeks and months ahead as we work towards selecting our third class of fellows. To get the latest news straight to your inbox, join our mailing list or join the conversation with us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram


Recent Posts

More posts from Advocate Spotlights

See All Posts