Fellows Program in Public Affairs
Training for the next generation of emerging leaders
The Fellows Program in Public Affairs (FPPA) provides 10 to 12 recent college graduates and young professionals with the leadership skills, a cross-sectoral professional network, and an understanding of the challenges facing the region (and opportunities to collaborate to address those challenges) to accelerate their professional careers toward action and impact. Become a next generation cross-sectoral leader today!
Fellows expand their capacity from peer learning, professional placement rotations, experienced leadership, DEIB, and mindfulness facilitators, and the broader Coro and regional community through Coro’s unique blend of experiential and immersive programming.
As a full-time fellowship program meeting September to May, Fellows participate in:
Weekly Leadership Seminars – Facilitated professional, management, and leadership development skill-building sessions featuring Coro’s time-tested and unique curriculum.
Leadership Interviews – Closed-door sessions with influential cross-sectoral leaders, which provide Fellows a rare and unique glimpse into different leadership styles and how leaders navigate challenges and and opportunities in their roles and over the course of their careers.
Focus Weeks – Weeklong, immersive and experiential explorations of a topic, challenge, or issue directly impacting the Greater Los Angeles region. These stretch the Fellows professional and leadership development by allowing them to practice in real-time the skills gained in the Weekly Leadership Seminars, gain new knowledge about the region, its challenges, and the systems in which those challenges lie, and expand their network of professionals eager to support their career trajectories.
Professional Placements – Approximately four-week long professional placements across multiple sectors (nonprofit, public, private, labor, and electoral politics – if the Fellowship spans an election cycle). These placements allow Fellows to gain direct exposure to varied sectors and institutions and offer participants the opportunity to build robust professional networks. These are not mini-internships, but high-quality professional placements with Fellows engaging with top institutional leaders and working on vital organizational assignments.
Spring Projects – Approximately four-week long individually-curated and led projects for an external partner organization, acting as a culmination of the Fellow’s leadership and professional development experience and delivering regional organizations high-impact, high-value deliverables to advance their mission and work.
Professional Network Building: Provides Fellows with multiple opportunities to expand their professional network, engaging meaningfully with a community of cross-sector leaders with the agency to drive impact and change locally and nationally. Fellows ultimately become a part of the Coro alumni community consisting of over 15,000 alumni, further kickstarting and/or accelerating their professional careers.
Expanded Civic Knowledge: Enables Fellows to enhance their knowledge of the challenges and solutions (and the systems in which those challenges and solutions lie) facing the Greater Los Angeles region by learning from active multi-perspective stakeholders impacted by those challenges and working to address them.
Advanced Leadership and Professional Development Skills: Coro’s unique and time-tested curriculum includes a wide range of professional skills-building:
• Adaptive Leadership
• Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Belonging (DEIB) and Anti-Racism
• Effective Communication and Advocacy
• Effective Inquiry and Critical Thinking
• Giving and Receiving Feedback
• Interpersonal Leadership Styles™
• Managing Diverse Teams
• Organizational Effectiveness and Analysis
• Project Management Tools
• Self-Awareness and Self-Management Tools
• Stakeholder Analysis and Coalition Building
• Systems Thinking
Across the length of the program, Fellows are immersed in an intentionally ambiguous and challenging environment designed to support the Fellows growth and development in a collaborative, peer-to-peer learning space. The Fellows constantly engage in an immersive and experiential manner, presenting numerous opportunities to practice, in real-time, the skills, network, and knowledge-building.
As a leadership and professional development institute, Coro’s program goals, including FPPA, aim to expand the leadership and professional capacity of our program participants in order for them to have the networks, skills, and knowledge to drive impact in their work and communities.
FPPA IS NOT
An echo chamber for your perspectives to be reinforced
A place to experience and appreciate diversity of experiences and viewpoints and engage in productive conflict and discourse
A “quick fix” bootcamp where you will be told the answers and solutions
A place to identify personal professional strengths and areas for growth and practice skills building
A think tank in which Coro or you will be “solving” the region’s challenges
A space to build a collaborative network of peers and community members eager to work together, both during the program and afterward, to better understand how to address the challenges the region faces and expand your toolkit of frameworks to enhance your capacity to do so
A job, in the traditional sense, where you are compensated in exchange for fulfilling a specific job description
An educational fellowship where you will continue your learning, growth, and development in order to invest in your future and accelerate your career
FPPA creates opportunities for you to accelerate your professional career following its completion.
Multi-sectoral Professional Experience – FPPA’s professional placements coupled with the Focus Weeks allow Fellows to gain multi-sectoral professional experience unlike any other Fellowship or internship program currently available. This exposure to different sectors, industries, and professional leaders has proven to expedite career advancement.
High-Quality Portfolio – Placement assignments, Focus Weeks, and Spring Projects require the Fellows to put together high-quality deliverables that present Fellows with a unique portfolio of the type of work they are capable of delivering when entering the full-time job market.
Expanded Cross-Sectoral Network – Fellows directly (and meaningfully) engage with over 150 professionals and leaders over the duration of their Fellowship experience. This, coupled with the over 15,000 Coro alumni, creates a unique opportunity for Fellows to quickly and meaningfully expand their social capital unlike any other professional network currently available.
Coro’s Reputation – Founded in 1947, Coro has been delivering high-impact, high-value leadership and professional development training for over 75 years. Coro alumni can be found in every sector, every industry, and at all levels – from the United States Senate to city halls and state legislatures to corporate boardrooms and union halls and beyond. Moreover, Coro partners with and collaborates with countless organizations annually to deliver its programming, further expanding the breadth and depth of Coro’s exceptional reputation.
Coro values diverse perspectives, identities, experiences, and world views represented in programming and cohorts; as such, FPPA cohorts reflect the make-up of the region, representing a wide array of backgrounds, experiences, beliefs, and identities.
Ideal FPPA candidates…
Are recent college graduates or early-career professionals with 5 or fewer years of experience (note: incoming 2024-25 Fellows must have a conferred bachelor’s degree by the end of August 2024)
Are US-based and/or have US work authorization
Are committed to approaching the program with a strong work ethic and professionalism
Want to create positive change in their communities
Are self-aware and welcome learning from multiple perspectives
Are inquisitive about problems and ready to put their skills to use across sectors
Note: if you are a professional with at least 5 years of experience, one of Coro’s part-time, professional development programs will likely better suit your leadership development.
Multi-Perspective: You should be ready to engage productively with different paradigms and perspectives, ready to participate in personal reflection, and be willing to evaluate and reconsider your worldview given new information. Come prepared to explore new ways to contribute to the larger whole or create more value in your work.
Intentional Ambiguity: A signature characteristic of Coro programming is generating intentional ambiguity, which works to highlight your defaults, ignite your learning, and support you to lead and manage through uncertainty.
Learn by Doing: Coro views leadership as a practice; you should be ready to learn by doing with program components as opportunities to practice, in real-time, the program’s skills, network, and knowledge building.
Vulnerability and Psychological Safety: Coro views vulnerability as a critical leadership attribute essential for unleashing learning, building authentic and meaningful connection, and for holding spaces that are psychologically safe. Coro believes psychological safety is a precursor to adaptive, innovative collaboration. You should be ready to contribute to building a psychological safe cohort environment by engaging, modeling vulnerability, seeking perspectives different than your own, sharing and receiving feedback, and contributing to a culture of gratitude and generosity.
Coro Southern California offers FPPA tuition-free, discounted down from $50,000 thanks to generous support of the Coro community and Coro’s partners.
Moreover, the generosity of the Coro community and Coro’s partners enables Coro Southern California to provide:
Need-based participant stipends (see below)
Limited access to affordable housing options (see below)
$80 per month reimbursement for health insurance
Mileage reimbursement for program-related, out-of-region travel
Overnight accommodations for program-related, out-of-region travel
Interpersonal Leadership Styles™ assessment and materials
Closing Ceremony Graduation and Reception (open to a limited number of Fellows’ guests)
Access to Coro FPPA GSuite platforms
Periodic Coro community continuing learning and networking events
Upon successful completion, a Coro FPPA certificate of completion and access to the Coro community and special alumni-only events, programming, and platforms
Fellows may incur incidental expenses due to your participation, such as cost-of-living expenses, and in-region transportation and parking costs for program activities.
Due to the nature of FPPA, Fellows are not permitted to be employed (full-time or part-time) during the length of the program.
Fellow Need-Based Stipends: Thanks to the generous support of the Coro community and Coro’s partners, Coro Southern California is able to offer a limited number of monthly needs-based stipends to help Fellows offset expenses related to their participation. In addition to monthly stipends, Coro Southern California may award relocation or other one-time stipends, dependent on funding availability and need.
As the program is an educational fellowship (not employment), stipends are not meant to be a wage compensating the Fellow’s work in the program. Instead, stipends are intended to provide financial assistance, not unlike an educational scholarship or grant.
Applicants will be instructed on how to be considered for stipends if they are invited to join one of the Selection Days (see more details in the Application Details tab). The average stipend for the 2023-24 Fellows cohort is $1,900 with stipends ranging from $1,600 to $2,200. Coro Southern California stipends depend wholly on the amount of funds available in a given fiscal year and are subject to differ from previous awards.
Housing: Each cycle Coro Southern California sends out requests to the broader Coro community seeking affordable housing options for the incoming Fellows. Coro does not guarantee housing for the duration of the program nor provide housing financial assistance. All housing arrangements are the responsibility of the incoming Fellows. If the Coro community alerts Coro Southern California of available affordable housing options, Coro staff will connect with incoming Fellows to facilitate introductions. Incoming Fellows from out-of-the-region and/or requiring higher financial assistance are prioritized for affordable housing options, if available.
Given the competitiveness of FPPA, the application and selection process is multi-step and rigorous.
The Coro team stands ready to support you through this process. We highly encourage you to schedule a time to chat with us so that we can answer any questions you may have about the program, get to know you a bit more, and walk you through the application process.
Step 1: Submit your online application. Coro strongly recommends that you create your application account, review the application requirements, and submit your application well before the deadline. Applicants are responsible for ensuring ALL application requirements are met, including all recommendation letters being sent to and received by Coro. The application includes basic bio/demo questions, a resume/CV, two letters of recommendation, two essays, and 1 video testimonial.
Step 2: Following the application deadline, each Coro Center convenes a group of Coro alumni, staff, and partners to review and score the applications for all applicants that listed their Center as their number one choice. Each applicant receives at least three to four reviews. The reviewer scores are averaged and Coro staff, based on these scores, determines which applicants will be invited as Finalists to their Center’s Selection Day.
Step 3: Coro notifies all applicants of their application status with Finalists informed on the logistics, details and next steps for Selection Day. It is at this time when Finalists will be asked to complete the financial aid application (if they desire to be considered for stipends).
Step 4: Each Coro Center operates their Selection Day as the final round of interviews for the Fellows cohort. This is a full-day immersive experience to determine which applicants will be invited to join their respective cohort (note: in most cases, selected Finalists will be invited to participate in the Selection Day for their first preference Center as indicated on their application).
Coro’s unique approach to leadership and professional development training delivers both immediate and long-lasting capacity-building benefits by expanding your skills, networks, and knowledge.
100% of past participants agreed that their participation in FPPA expanded their professional networks and that they are likely to stay connected with those they met through Coro in the future.
100% of past participants agreed that their familiarity with the policy, political, and community landscape in the greater Los Angeles region and understanding of the region’s key institutions, individuals, issues and circumstances significantly improved due to their participation in FPPA.
100% of past participants reported an improved ability to identify multiple stakeholders involved in an issue and greater confidence in identifying and approaching relevant decision-makers.
91% of past participants reported a heightened understanding of the personal strengths and weaknesses that influence their own and others’ effectiveness, with 100% agreeing that FPPA improved their awareness of their own areas of growth as well as their ability to identify factors that are central to their performance.
Over 80% of past participants said their FPPA participation increased their leadership skills, with 100% of past participants noting improvement in their ability to facilitate a meeting, manage a team, manage multiple projects at once, and drive positive results/ outcomes.
“The Fellows program provided me with an unparalleled opportunity to learn about the intricacies of Los Angeles, reflect deeply on my personal goals and values, and develop a toolkit to be an ethical and effective leader. The experiences I shared with my Cohort left an indelible mark on me—and I will continue to draw on the lessons I learned from them for years to come.”
Nicolas Zevallos, 2023 Coro Fellow
Intergovernmental Affairs Deputy
Office of Mayor Karen Bass
Fellows rotate through four or five sector placements in nonprofit, government, labor, private/ business, and electoral politics (if the program overlaps with an election cycle), gaining exposure to a wide range of industries while also offering the hosting organization skillful support on new or ongoing projects. Placements support Coro Fellows’ learning in public affairs and their effectiveness as future leaders.
Placement Hosts are supervisors or “field faculty” who can provide hands-on learning experiences through shadowing key executives, interviewing staff and stakeholders, and projects that help Fellows understand how the organization and the sector work. Fellows provide value to the host organization through projects they complete, as well as their fresh insights, innovative thinking, and enthusiasm to learn and engage.
Each sector placement lasts approximately 4 weeks.
Fellows are available full-time, Monday – Thursday, with the exception of mandatory Coro seminars on Fridays and on Tuesday evenings
Non-Profit: September 18 – October 13, 2023
Private: October 23 – November 17, 2023
Public: January 8 – February 2, 2024
Labor: February 12 – March 8, 2024
In the final months of their Fellowship, Coro Fellows consult on or complete projects for interested organizations of any sector or industry. Fellows work closely with organization supervisors to determine ideal outcomes.
2024 Spring Project Periods
March 25, 2024 – April 19, 2024 (4 weeks)
April 22, 2024 – May 17, 2024 (4 weeks)
Project Fee: $7,000 per Fellow for each period
Project fees are tax-deductible, processed as a donation to Coro in support of the Fellows Program in Public Affairs.
Learn More & Apply
The Stinehart Reed Reserve Fund
Andrea Van de Kamp Fund
Breslauer, Rutman and Anderson Inc.
Bruce Corwin Fund
John Kobara Fund
Rick Tuttle Fund
The 2024-25 cohort application deadline has passed. Complete an interest form to receive updates about future cohorts.
Know someone who would be great for FPPA? Nominate them here.
- Interest Form
Complete an Interest Form to learn more about FPPA.
- Meet the Cohort
Learn more about the current Fellows cohort.
- Program Benefits
Download this guide to learn about the benefits of participating in FPPA.
- Questions? Contact
Senior Manager, Recruitment & Alumni Relations