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Candidate Application Form
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Prefill from class

Prefill from class

Prefill from class
Thank you for applying to the Aspen Young Leaders Fellowship (AYLF). Each year, 30 fellows from each of our fellowship locations are selected to engage in 1 year of intensive training that includes monthly seminars, a paid internship, and a community impact project coupled with 4 additional years of targeted support for degree completion, career development, and workforce placement. AYLF is nested in an opportunity ecosystem that mitigates barriers to success and provides a safety net for the entire family. Communities benefit as fellows, their families, and adult stakeholders distribute opportunities throughout the ecosystem, collectively leveraging the program to address community needs.

We are currently accepting applications and will interview candidates on a rolling basis, closing the process once a cohort is filled. We encourage you to submit your application right away. We strongly encourage that you allow sufficient time to update your resume, submit your response, and obtain optional recommendation letters if you wish to (these letters are completely optional). All candidates can submit either written or video responses to the supplemental questions. If you pursue this option, please upload your video to YouTube and provide the link when prompted in the application. Please also indicate that you are submitting a video response in the space provided for each application question.

There is an option to save your progress and return any time before the deadline. You can access this feature at the top of the application. We strongly recommend that you prepare your responses in a Word document and then transfer your answers into the application, completing the process in one sitting. 

Please contact AYLF Senior Program Associate Christian Hightower at Christian.Hightower@aspeninstitute.org if you have any questions.

Contact Information

Permanent Address

The Aspen Young Leaders Fellowship is a place-based program. We at AYLF believe that local communities are best positioned to address the issues they face. We partner with communities to cultivate human, social, and economic capital while leveraging the existing assets, strengths, and resources of the local community. Due to this community-centered model, AYLF fellows must originate from the locality and currently reside in the region (for a minimum of 4 years). 

Local Residence Address

The Local Residence address is the address that you currently or previously lived in within the AYLF locality to which you are applying. If you currently live within a 4 hour drive of your local residency address (e.g. college address), please add that under Mailing Address below.

Mailing Address


Ideal candidates for AYLF are first- and second-year college students between the ages of 18-22 who are creative, curious, resilient, and have demonstrated an interest in civic transformation and social responsibility. We also engage juniors, seniors, and opportunity youth not currently enrolled in school. AYLF emphasizes talent and potential. As such, grades are not evaluated as a primary factor for acceptance. The only requirements to be considered for the fellowship are the candidate’s age and commitment to the communities where our program is engaged.

(e.g., Armenian, Ghanaian, Haitian, Filipino, Mexican, Polish)
AYLF is committed to providing equitable access to opportunity, which includes providing the support needed by individuals with various ability differences to pursue leadership development, degree attainment, and workforce placement. We welcome applicants to share their needs so we may provide the appropriate accommodations and support.

Prefill from class or calculate based on selected cohort (under Program section)

The following are the seminar dates for the new classes of Fellows. Please confirm that you are available to attend ALL AYLF sessions. Sessions with asterisks will require travel during the day on Friday. The Aspen Institute is able to provide letters for excused absences upon request. Note that being able to afford transportation to session will never be a barrier to participants. We work with all youth accepted into the program to ensure they are able to participate. All costs during trips are covered by AYLF.
NOTE: Planned travel and in-person sessions are contingent upon health and safety guidance and policies from national/local authorities and the Aspen Institute.

  • Seminar 1: December 19-20, 2020 (Virtual) 
  • Seminar 2: January 23-24, 2021 (Virtual) 
  • Seminar 3: February 20-21, 2021 (Virtual) 
  • Seminar 4: March 20-21, 2021 (Virtual) 
  • Seminar 5: April 17-18, 2021 (Virtual) 
  • Seminar 6: May 21-23, 2021* (In-person: Retreat trip, location TBD) 
  • Seminar 7: June 12-13, 2021 (In-person: St. Louis, MO, MS/AR, Chicago, IL) 
  • Seminar 8: July 17-18, 2021 (In-person: St. Louis, MO, MS/AR, Chicago, IL) 
  • Seminar 9: September 10-12, 2021* (In-person: Sister City trip, location TBD) 
  • Seminar 10: October 16-17, 2021 (In-person: Graduation: St. Louis, MO, MS/AR, Chicago, IL)

Supplemental Questions

Each application response should not exceed 250 words. Candidates can submit video responses to the supplemental questions instead of written responses. If you pursue this option please upload your video to YouTube, and provide the link when prompted in the application. Also, indicate that you are submitting a video response in the space provided for each application question.

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