The RISE Fellows Program is accepting applications for our 2019 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 clear and convincing 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 12-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.

2019 Fellowship Dates
Please take a look at all the important dates below for our 2019 RISE Urban Leadership Fellows Program. Our expectation is, as RISE Fellows, you will attend all four forums and as many of the additional sessions/activities identified, as well as other key events of the RISE San Diego organization. Please take this into consideration as you apply.

Forum I January 10–12, 2019
Technical Session I March 2, 2019
Forum II May 16-18, 2019
Technical Session II August 3, 2019
Forum III September 19-21, 2019
Technical Session III October 19, 2019
Forum IV December 5-7, 2019
The application period for the 2019 program has closed. Please check in later in the year for information on 2020 applications. For reference, you can find the requested information for the 2019 program, below. Thank you for your interest in the RISE Urban Leadership Fellows Program!

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. A one-paragraph professional biography (500 words minimum) in PDF or Word (.doc) format;
  3. 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 (Please note, these are not required to submit your online application, but they are required to be submitted either with the application, or by email, prior to the November 17 deadline);
  4. 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 or .png file formats, with a minimum resolution of 300dpi and a maximum file size of 1MB;
  5. We encourage you to download the fellowship application as a PDF or Word document for preparation purposes only. Please note that completed applications in Word or PDF will not be accepted. To apply for the fellowship program, you must complete, and submit, the online application.