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.
10 weeks… paid!
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.
Learn from experts
Fellows learn from and with progressive experts from across the state. Community leaders across issues and interest areas (environmental, social justice, music and media) host presentations, workshops and trainings for Fellows. Fellows also learn how to use blogs, social media and videos to engage and inform their peers in creative and innovative ways.
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
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.
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 14th to August 20th, 2017. Fellows must be able to participate in all ten weeks of the program and are expected to commit at least 40 hours per week, including weekend and evening commitments.
Can I take this class, have a second job, etc. while being a Fellow?
We highly discourage Fellows from having any other major time commitments during the course of the program. Historically, we have found that this affects a Fellow’s ability to participate in the program and bond with their fellow Fellows. All other major time commitments outside of the Fellowship program should be discussed with Fellowship staff prior to the start of the program.
Are Washington Bus Fellows paid?
Fellows receive a stipend of $500 per month for a total of $1,500.00 over the course of the program. Some scholarships are available to cover additional costs.
Is housing available for Washington Bus Fellows?
We do our best to provide free homestays to Fellows for whom the cost of housing would be a barrier to participating in our program; particularly for Fellows who are from outside of the King County area.
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. 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.
When do I apply?
There are three application deadlines this year: February 8th, March 8th and April 12th. Applications submitted online are due at midnight PST on the date of the deadline. Paper applications must be received in our Seattle office by the end of business on the date of the application deadline. We encourage applicants to apply as early as possible. We receive more applications at each passing deadline and the application process becomes increasingly competitive.
What’s the application process like?
Great question. There are three steps:
- Pre-application. All applicants will need to fill out a pre-application. If it sounds like you’re a good fit, we’ll follow up with you.
- Full application. Once approved, we’ll send you the full application. It’s an online form and 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 essay questions, you’ll also need to provide the contact information for two references and a resume.
- Interview. A committee of staff members and Bus Alumni will read applications and interview applicants who look like a good fit.
What if I’m not 18-25 or can’t donate 50 hours a week to democracy?
Consider applying for a part-time internship here!