The RISE Fellows Program is accepting applications for our 2017 class. This program is a partnership of RISE San Diego and the Leadership Institute at the University of San Diego School of Leadership and Education Sciences. RISE’s unique goal and commitment is to help identify and empower a generation of leaders who will not only bring our urban communities up, but who will also bring them together. Learn more by reviewing our full program description.


RISE Fellows are selected through a competitive process open to any resident of San Diego County over the age of 18. Particular invitation is extended to applicants who represent and have a deep history in urban centers of the region. Click here for additional eligibility information and answers to other FAQs.

Potential RISE Fellows are expected to reflect the character, strengths, and hopes of San Diego’s urban communities. In order to be considered, applicants must:

  • Provide evidence of strong roots and enduring commitment to an urban community of San Diego.
  • Demonstrate experience designing, dreaming, or delivering leadership to local community efforts. This experience, which may be aspirational as well as actual, can be in the public, private, non-profit, academic, entrepreneurial, artistic, and/or technological sectors
  • Hold an emergent capacity to converse and traverse the diversity of the region effectively with impact.
  • Commit to the entire 10-month program, especially attendance and participation at the four, mandatory, 3-day Leadership Forums (Thursday to Saturday), one-on-one coaching sessions, coaching circles and completion of an individual Community Action Project.
  • Agree to act as RISE Leadership Mentors upon completion of the program for future RISE Fellows and during the fellowship for On The RISE high-school youth fellows.
  • Hold a high school diploma, though preference will be given to those who have some college experience, including current enrollment. Preference is also given to those with at least five years of experience working in the community.

2017 Fellowship Dates
Please review the following timeline for our 2017 RISE Urban Leadership Fellowship Program; dates will be finalized in the coming weeks. Our expectation is that you will attend all of these sessions as a RISE Fellow, so please take that into consideration as you apply.

Orientation & Reception Late February/Early March
Forum 1 March 16-18
Technical Session 1 April
Technical Session 2 May
Forum 2 June
Mid-Year Reception July
Forum 3 Late August/Early September
Forum 4 Late November/Early December
RISE Familia Holiday Party Early/Mid December

The following documents are required to complete your application and are uploaded as a part of the application process. We advise you to gather these documents prior to beginning the online application.

  1. A recent copy of your résumé in PDF or Word (.docx) format;
  2. Two (2) letters of recommendation from someone familiar with your leadership capacity and efforts in the urban community. These documents should also be submitted in PDF or Word (.docx) formats.
  3. A quality, high-resolution headshot. The headshot does not need to be taken by a professional photographer, but should be professional in appearance. Please submit this file in .jpg, .tif, or .eps file formats, with a minimum resolution of 300dpi.

The application submission deadline for the 2017 Urban Leadership Fellows program has passed. Please check in later in the year for information on 2018 applications. Thank you for your interest in the RISE San Diego Urban Leadership Fellows Program!