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Our Fellowship

Each academic year, NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia offers an exclusive, yearlong fellowship opportunity to driven, passionate students ready to join the ranks of Virginia’s pro-choice champions. Our program develops next-generation leaders with the skills and support they need to make change on their campus and in Virginia.

The Student Advocacy Fellowship works with students through the fall semester, winter break, and spring semester through a series of educational modules with the ongoing mentorship of our Community Organizers. Our fellows tap into the knowledge and resources only those on the frontlines can bring—we work with guest speakers, activists, policy makers, and grassroots organizations to share their unique expertise. Students complete on-campus organizing activities to apply what they’ve learned, with the skills of each module building on the next.

Topics covered in our modules include:

  • Grassroots Organizing
  • Messaging
  • Elections and Campaigns
  • Lobbying
  • Careers in Advocacy

Our fellows also work alongside NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia to see first-hand how advocacy organizations facilitate change-making in our communities. Our fellows have testified in front of legislative committees during General Assembly Session, joined our field work in support of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia PAC-endorsed candidates, rallied with us at the U.S. Supreme Court, investigated fake clinics, and much more – all with our ongoing support and dedicated mentorship.

Creating Sustainable Change

Each year, our fellows focus on listening to their campus community to identify challenges, needs, and opportunities to expand access to reproductive healthcare for their peers. Prior to graduation, our fellows build an advocacy campaign of their very own to create change on campus. From lobbying for expanded access to contraceptives on campus to raising awareness about local fake clinics, our fellows see first-hand what it’s like to build power and progress for their peers.

 

Some of our fellows’ achievements include:

  • After a two-year long campaign, fellows at George Mason University made GMU the first university in Virginia to offer emergency contraception in a vending machine. Since it’s launch, the program has expanded to three units on campus, including one accessible 24/7, greatly increasing access, affordability, and privacy to critical reproductive healthcare.
  • Hampton University students created a reproductive healthcare hotline powered by a network of student advocates to deliver free emergency contraception, transportation to abortion clinics, and confidential, nonjudgmental accompaniment.
  • University of Mary Washington fellows conducted an undercover investigation into the local fake clinic that targets students on campus, exposing their disinformation and shaming tactics to help protect and educate vulnerable students.
  • Old Dominion University fellows hosted multiple community drives to add free reproductive healthcare offerings to their on-campus food pantry, including menstrual hygiene products and pre-natal vitamins.
  • University of Richmond fellow successfully lobbied the university to approve and offer a free, student-led “Birth Control 101” class open to all students to learn about various birth control options and receive a prescription on-the-spot from the university health center at the end of the class.

Where we Work

Since 2017, we’ve worked with 56 students at 11 campuses.

Our Student Advocacy Fellows come from universities all over the Commonwealth! We celebrate the richness different campus sizes, locations, and atmospheres add to our program. We ensure our program is structured enough to provide support as our fellows learn and grow, while also staying true to best-practice community organizing values: we trust our fellows to know what’s best for their campus, and we give them the autonomy to act responsively to their unique climates, needs, and resources.

The Student Advocacy Fellowship is open to undergraduate sophomores, juniors, and seniors enrolled at a Virginia public or private university. Two fellowship positions are open at each university unless otherwise specified. Fellows commit to 6 – 8 hours work per week outside of their trainings in the fall and spring semesters, and 2 – 4 hours per week over winter break. Each fellow receives a $1000 stipend per semester as well as covered program materials and travel accommodations.

To Apply

Our annual fellowship application typically opens in May with an application deadline on/around July 15. There is no GPA minimum to apply to the fellowship and we welcome applicants from both 2- and 4-year universities in Virginia. Students can be nominated by friends, university faculty, professors, etc. or apply directly online. Our online application consists of a short questionnaire and the applicant’s resume. Each year’s cohort is typically selected in late July.

Add Your Name

We fight for a future that includes access to all reproductive health care no matter your zip code or employer. Virginia must lead the charge. Are you with us?