The Bus Fellowship is an intensive, intentional and transformative experience for young folks who are ready to inspire change alongside their communities. Over the course of ten weeks, Fellows learn from progressive experts from across the state, run the most innovative, effective and fun civic programs in Washington State, and collaborate with community organizations and issue campaigns for hands-on organizing experience.
The Fellowship is a program of the Washington Bus Education Fund, the 501(c3) sister organization of the Washington Bus 501(c4).
The Fellowship Application for 2021 is open.
The deadline to apply is March 31st.
The Bus Fellowship is a ten-week paid political, social justice and community-building program for young people. Fellows spend the summer grassroots organizing, building community and driving progressive change in sunny Seattle. Alumni leave the program with the ability to champion issues they are passionate about, and the skills to make real change in their communities.
Past Fellowship Classes have.....
Fellows practice hands-on democracy and implement campaigns. In past years, Fellows have led the largest voter registration drive in Washington State, increased Washington’s youth vote turnout, organized large-scale volunteer events for more equitable voting systems, engaged with thousands of Washingtonians around marriage equality, helped pass a living wage for airport workers, built power for climate justice, and ensured Seattle continues to prioritize affordable housing and services for families at risk of becoming homeless.
Frequently asked questions
Am I Eligible?
Bus Fellows come from across the country with a diverse range of experiential and cultural backgrounds, but there are some things they all have in common. To be a Bus Fellow, you must:
- Be between 18 and 25 years old.
- Have a passion for working in a community and a desire to learn about state and local politics.
- Have strong organizational skills and attention to detail.
- Have excellent interpersonal skills and an ability to work with a diverse team.
- Have a good sense of humor and forward-thinking values.
- Have a strong connection to Washington State, and be able to articulate why organizing in Washington matters to you.
The Washington Bus is a statewide organization that empowers young people to be leaders, both within their own communities and in the broader progressive movement. As a values driven organization, the Washington Bus Fellowship is dedicated to supporting and fostering leadership from underrepresented communities.
We strongly encourage folks from immigrant communities and communities of color, as well as those who identify as women, LGBTQ or working class to apply.
What is the time commitment?
The Washington Bus Fellowship runs from June 15th to August 20th, 2021. Fellows must be able to participate in all ten weeks of the program and are expected to commit at least 20 hours per week, including occasional weekend and evening commitments. In 2020, the program ran from 10am-3pm, Tuesday through Friday. We expect the 2021 schedule to be similar.
Are Fellows paid?
Yes! Fellows are paid $16.69 hourly. You can also receive your pay as an educational stipend.
What’s an average day like for a Washington Bus Fellow?
That really depends on the week. However, on an average weekday, you’ll meet in the classroom at 10am, and spend a couple hours learning from some of the best community leaders and political experts in the state. In an in-person year, afternoons and evenings vary, but you can expect to be busy 3-4 evenings a week, attending music festivals, planning work field events, and engaging volunteers. On the weekends you can expect be out in the community registering folks to vote, canvassing neighbors and dancing with Vote Bot. In 2020 we ran a completely remote Fellowship. In 2021, we expect to run a hybrid program, but will still be leaning heavily into digital organizing and online events.
What's the application process like?
Great question! There are two steps:
- The application is an online form (peep the link at the top of this page!) that you’ll need to submit it all at once. If you don’t have regular access to internet, please let us know and we can provide a paper application. In addition to answering the short essay questions, you’ll also need to provide your work history and the contact information for two references.
- Interview. A committee of staff members and Bus Alumni will read applications and interview applicants who look like a good fit.
Applications are due at 11:59pm on March 31st.
Questions about Fellowship?
Contact us with any questions about the program or applicaton.
Maybe you’re not 18 yet, or don’t have 20 hours a week to commit to democracy this summer.