The Literacy LabLeading Men Fellow Application (The Literacy Lab 2019-20)

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Page 1 of 11: Welcome

Welcome, and thank you for your interest in joining the Leading Men Fellowship!

Through the Leading Men Fellowship, The Literacy Lab is helping to diversify the teacher pipeline by engaging recent high school graduates in exploring a career in Early Childhood Education. Leading Men Fellows participate in a year-long, residency-style program which provides an opportunity to build professional skills while preparing students to become strong, lifelong readers.

Leading Men Fellows serve in Pre-Kindergarten classrooms in traditional public and charter schools as early literacy tutors. Through service, Fellows become role models and change agents in their communities who support the growth of young students, while transforming the trajectories of their own lives. To learn more about the Fellows’ experience, please watch this short video of Kenvin Lacayo, an alumnus of the Fellowship.

If selected to serve with us, you will play an important role in closing the literacy gap. For more information, please visit

The application typically takes about 30-45 minutes to complete. The application has several sections, including:

  • Education history
  • Work and/or volunteer history
  • 1 short essay
  • Reference contact information

If you aren’t able to complete the application in one sitting, you can save your work and come back to it at anytime! We look forward to reading your application.

Reasonable accommodations are provided upon request via email (
or phone (202-750-3758). 

Important: The Literacy Lab will use this email to contact you during the selection process. Please make sure that you will have access to this email address for the whole year.  Remember that school addresses often expire after graduation! 

We only accept one application for Leading Men and/or one for AmeriCorps per recruitment cycle.

Page 2 of 11: Eligibility 

The Leading Men Fellowship is designed for recent high school graduates who have not yet completed college to be able to build professional skills while serving students in the districts where they attended school. Before you begin, please take some time to confirm your eligibility.

Program Eligibility

Leading Men Fellows have to meet a few minimum requirements. Before continuing with the application, please review these requirements below to make sure you are eligible! 



  • Have received a high school diploma or GED after May 2013
  • Be an alumnus of a traditional public or charter high school in your metro area and/or school district of service
  • Be eligible to work legally in the United States
  • Be able to pass a background check (no convictions for felonies or violent crimes)
  • Have received a 4-year college degree by August 2019
  • Be registered, or required to register, on a sex offender registry

If you are unsure whether you meet these requirements, please email
If you are not eligible for our Leading Men Fellowship, please consider applying for our full-time AmeriCorps tutoring positions
NOTE: Any intentional misrepresentation or omission is grounds for disqualification.

Page 3 of 11: Contact and Demographic Information

In the following section, you have the opportunity to tell us information about yourself. We look forward to getting to know you!
Contact Information

Please enter your current legal first name.

We'll try to use this name in all communications with you!


If selected to serve with The Leading Men Fellowship, you'll be required to verify your identity and eligibility to work in the United States and to complete the employment eligibility verification document (Form I-9) form before hire. This requirement is in compliance with federal law.   

Demographics Information
The Literacy Lab is committed to recruiting a diverse pool of Fellows that reflects the communities we serve. By providing this optional demographics information, you can help us track our progress toward this goal!

If you are not eligible for our Leading Men Fellowship, please consider applying for our full-time AmeriCorps tutoring positions

Page 4 of 11: Commitment and Location

We are deeply invested in the students, schools, and communities we serve. Our success depends upon our Fellows actively embracing their service terms and our mission. Below, we outline the basic commitments Fellows must fulfill to be successful in our program.
Commitment to Our Mission
Our partner schools and communities are often faced with the challenge of both an achievement gap and a resource gap. Fellows may encounter environments and situations that are unfamiliar to them. We seek applicants who will solve problems and build relationships in stressful and/or challenging situations. 

All day, every day, Fellows work with 3- and 4-year-old students helping to build their literacy skills. We seek Fellows who are dedicated to student achievement and excited to work with our communities' youngest stakeholders.


Commitment to Service
We provide the year-round training, coaching, and support necessary to help our Fellows effectively implement our evidenced-based interventions. Leading Men Fellows should be prepared to fulfill several basic commitments to service.

Once the school year has begun, we're not able to replace Fellows. Committing to our program means serving for the entire 10-month program.

You will meet with your students Monday - Friday on a consistent schedule.

You will need to serve 25 - 30 hours per week to meet Leading Men Fellowship requirements. This will include professional development sessions, trainings, and other events outside of the school day and/or site. 

Fellows receive:
  • A living wage of $15/hour
  • A monthly Transportation and Communication Stipend of $120 to support timely arrival at school and consistent access to a personal cell phone
  • A stipend of $2,500 to use for higher education-related expenses

Please carefully consider any available supports that may help you fulfill the Fellowship's commitment. We recommend using a free online tax calculator to estimate the amount you'll receive after local, state, and federal taxes.

Otherwise, please write N/A.

Next, please review the following information about where Leading Men Fellows work.
Location Selection
Next school year, we plan to place a team of about 50 Leading Men Fellows. If selected, you will serve in a Pre-K classroom in one public elementary school in your selected location. 

Fellows will be placed in one of several metropolitan areas: 
    • Baltimore, MD
    • Kansas City, MO
    • Milwaukee, WI
    • Richmond, VA
    • Washington, DC
As a reminder, you must be an alumnus of a traditional public or charter school in your metro area and/or school district of service. 

Page 5 of 11: Short Essay Response

Now, we'd like to hear more about your motivation to join our team.
Short Essay

Nearly 50% of students in America identify as people of color (Black, Latino/a, Asian, Native American). However, less than 5% of public school teachers are males of color. 

Your answer should be around 100 words.
PAUSE. Before going on to the next page, please take a moment to save your in-progress application. You've worked hard on your essay!

At the top of the page, mark a check next to Save my progress and resume later, then add your account information. If you'd like to resume working immediately, you can log back in.

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You're 75% through your application. Nice work!

Before moving on, please save your in-progress application.

Here's how:
  • Mark a check next to "Save my progress and resume later" (top of this page)
  • Enter your email and a password you can remember
If you'd like to resume working immediately, just click "Resume this form now." 

NOTE: You will be taken back to the beginning of your application. 

This is a great opportunity to check your work! Please click through until you reach the next section: Education History.

Page 6 of 11: Education Overview

Please tell us more about your educational history.  If you’d like to add additional schools or universities, you can click the link at the bottom of the page.
Education Eligibility
First, please indicate how much schooling you expect to complete by our start date in August 2019. If you're currently in school, but planning to graduate by August 2019, please select "High School Diploma".

To serve with us, you'll need at least a high school diploma or equivalency by our start date.
High School Education History

Higher Education History (If Applicable)
If you have no college experience, please proceed to the next page.

NOTE: Generally, we do not recommend completing more than one or two college classes during this program. Even flexible degree options, like part-time, online, and evening courses, require a significant time commitment that competes with required afterschool trainings, meetings, etc.--not to mention your own self-care! Please email if you have questions.

Page 7 of 11: Extracurricular, Work, and Volunteer Experience

We find that successful Leading Men Fellows come from a variety of backgrounds. Although formal experience with children and/or youth may be helpful for our Fellows, it is not required. 

Please include any extracurricular, professional, and/or volunteer experiences that have contributed to your skill set, including:

  • Leadership positions in clubs, sports, or other activities at school
  • Participation in clubs, sports, or other activities at school
  • Full- or part-time paid jobs
  • Full- or part-time volunteer roles
  • AmeriCorps or other service year positions
  • Self-employment 
  • Internships or fellowships

Beginning with your current or most recent position, please describe up to three positions you have held. Please include professional and/or volunteer roles that have contributed to your skill set!

If the exact start date is not known, please enter the first day of the starting month.

If the exact end date is not known, please enter the first day of the ending month.
PAUSE. Before going on to the next page, please take a moment to save your in-progress application. You've worked hard on your Work and Volunteer Experience history!

At the top of the page, mark a check next to Save my progress and resume later, then add your account information. If you'd like to resume working immediately, you can log back in.

Page 8 of 11: References

If you are able now, please submit two references. You may complete this step after you submit your application as well.

To consider you for our program, we need to hear from two references who have supervised you.

For example, a reference from a volunteer coordinator, teacher, job supervisor, career counselor, and/or coach would be perfectly appropriate. A reference from a personal friend, member of your family, or peer is not appropriate.

Upon submission of your application, we send references an automated email on your behalf requesting that they complete a very brief online reference form. We can't offer you a position until those references are complete!  

If we do not hear back from your references promptly, they'll receive an automatic reminder. Meanwhile, you'll receive an automatic email requesting that you check in with your reference(s), and/or provide an Alternate Reference. 
First Reference 

Second Reference

Page 9 of 11: Criminal History

To ensure protection of the students we serve, we require extensive criminal history checks. These include the National Sex Offender Registry, FBI, and other local checks. The Literacy Lab prohibits Fellows from beginning service before satisfactory results of checks have been received.
Criminal History

If you have a criminal conviction or criminal adjudication, it does not necessarily disqualify you from consideration, depending on the circumstances. However, intentional misrepresentation or omission of criminal history is grounds for disqualification.

Below, please provide any additional information about your criminal history. Please thoughtfully consider anything that may appear on your record, including:
  • Pre-trial investigations
  • Charges that were later dropped
  • Charges that are in the process of being expunged
  • Fines
Please do not include parking tickets, minor traffic violations, etc.
If you have nothing to disclose, enter "No criminal history to report."

Page 10 of 11: Referral Details

Please take a moment to share how you first heard about this program. Our Recruitment Team analyzes this data to inform future outreach! Please include as much information as possible.
How Did You Hear About Us?

Referrer's First and Last Name, OR N/A if not applicable
Referrer Email Address

If you have no more specific referral information you'd like to provide, please write N/A.

Page 11 of 11: Final Considerations

Before you submit your application, please review a few final items.
Application Review and Submission

The Literacy Lab staff strives to recruit, select, and support the most capable, dedicated Fellows possible. To this end, application and reference data for hired Fellows is used in research that helps inform selection and outreach. Names and/or specific identifiers are excluded in this research whenever possible.

The Literacy Lab Equal Opportunity Policy
The Literacy Lab believes in providing equal opportunity for all applicants, employees, members and volunteers. We are an Equal Opportunity Employer and do not discriminate in program admission or administration based on race, color, creed, religion, ancestry, pregnancy, genetic information, marital status, amnesty, sexual orientation, gender, national origin, age, disability, status as a covered veteran or with regard to public assistance, membership, or activity in a local human rights commission, or any other status protected by law. Applicants, employees, members, and volunteers will be evaluated solely on the basis of their qualifications, skills, experience, and conduct. 

Reasonable accommodations are provided upon request via email (
or phone (202-750-3758).