Leading Men Fellowship

Unlocking potential and changing the narrative by engaging young men of color as early childhood educators.

Leading Men Fellowship

The Literacy Lab’s Leading Men Fellowship creates opportunities for young men of color and increases representation in the field of education.  Leading Men Fellows are young men of color who have recently graduated from high school and participate in a year-long, residency-style experience in which they provide evidence-based literacy support to pre-kindergarten students while receiving robust coaching and professional development and gaining valuable experience.

Addressing Three Pressing Challenges

Increasing Kindergarten Readiness

Leading Men Fellows are trained to implement interventions to prepare pre-K children for Kindergarten. Fellows are trained and coached to work in one pre-K classroom for the entire school year, leading to significant gains for 3- and 4-year-olds.

Creating Rigorous Opportunities

Young men who are recent high school graduates have access to a rigorous, paid, career-focused experience where they can be a part of the solution. Fellows are paid a living wage to serve as early literacy tutors five days per week and receive supports to develop professionally.

Diversifying the Teacher Pipeline

Young men are exposed to a career in early childhood education, helping to diversify the high-quality teacher pipeline in the long run. Fellows participate in a residency-style, cohort-based program to expose them to a variety of opportunities and experiences.

Become a Fellow. Change the narrative.

The Literacy Lab is actively recruiting applicants for the Leading Men Fellowship for 2021-22 school year cohorts in Washington, DC; Baltimore, MD; Milwaukee, WI; Richmond, VA; and Kansas City, MO. Applicants must be recent graduates or seniors graduating in 2021 from public high schools.

Apply to be a Fellow

Frequently Asked Questions

In partnership with DC Public Schools and support from the DC Public Education Fund, The Literacy Lab launched the Leading Men Fellowship in 2016. 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.

We currently serve in the following cities: Milwaukee, WI, Richmond, VA, and Washington DC. Please email lmf@theliteracylab.org for more information on our service locations and ways to expand our partnerships to new locations throughout the country.

To view our open applications, please click here. We recommend that you submit your application as early as possible as we have a select number of positions to offer in each of our regions. Remember, to apply, you must be an alumnus of the school district in which you are applying for.

At minimum, all Fellows must:

  • Be between the ages of 18 and 24 years old
  • Have a high school diploma, GED, or equivalency
  • Be an alumnus of a traditional public or charter school in their metro area
  • Pass a background check and work legally in the United States
  • NOT have a college degree

If you are not eligible for our Leading Men Fellowship, you may be eligible for our full-time AmeriCorps tutoring positions. Please consider applying here.

Leading Men Fellows should demonstrate:

  • Interest in education, specifically helping young children develop early language and reading skills
  • Energetic, results-oriented, student-focused style
  • Strong planning and time-management skills
  • Strong capacity to be flexible and adaptable in varied circumstances
  • Consistent follow-through
  • Ability to accept and incorporate constructive feedback from coaches and program staff
  • Ability to work with people who have different backgrounds, styles, and preferences
  • Ability to adapt to a sometimes challenging and high-pressure environment

Financial benefits include:

  • An hourly wage of $15/hour (non-negotiable)
  • Paid twice per month via direct deposit (subject to local, state, and federal taxes. We recommend using a free online tax calculator to estimate post-tax amount)
  • $120 monthly commuter and communication stipend
  • Higher Education Award: $2,500 following successful completion of service
  • Opportunity to return as a Senior Fellow

We will provide four shirts and a fleece jacket. Fellows are responsible for the rest of their professional gear. Most schools require professionals working in building to dress business casual and additional considerations will be shared during training. The Literacy Lab does not have a policy against body modifications (tattoos, piercings, etc.) though some school sites may have policies in place.

Before starting in their service site, Leading Men Fellows participate in a Training Institute, which prepares them to conduct assessments and interventions with students. Throughout the year, Fellows receive additional training and professional development with their coaches and other Fellows.

During the year, you will be supported by:

  • Early Literacy coaches, who provide training on interventions and assessments
  • Program staff, who oversee your professional journey through the program year
  • Transferable professional development that compliments your service year experience
  • Professional Learning Group (PLG) sessions designed to promote young professionals in their social, emotional, and professional development beyond their classroom tutoring experience

A majority of students at each partner school qualify for free and reduced-priced meals. Despite systematic structures which can limit opportunities in under-resourced communities, our partner schools join in our commitment to ensure each child has the opportunity to become a successful reader.

Our Fellow offers are specific to one region instead of a specific school site. School placements are usually determined later in the summer. When placing Fellows, we consider a variety of factors, including commute times, transportation options, etc.

Fellows should expect to serve a total of 25-30 hours weekly. Most Fellows serve from 8:30AM until about 2:30PM, but that can vary. For example, some schools start earlier than 8:30AM, while others start later. Thus, some flexibility is required! Fellows are required to attend weekly/biweekly PLG meetings that are designed to enhance the social, emotional, and professional skills of each young professional. PLG topics include discussions around financial literacy, rights, and responsibilities of citizens, health and wellness, and much more.

Our students need daily exposure to the material to achieve maximum gains in the program. While there is some wiggle room for exploring opportunities outside service directly with school site partners in the evenings and on weekends, Fellows must be generally available M-F from 8:00am-2:30pm, for the full school year with The Literacy Lab. We do not offer part-time, summer, or after-school positions to Leading Men Fellows.

Fellows are presented with a number of opportunities to consider post-Fellowship. Many of our Fellows choose to continue on with a year of service as an AmeriCorps Tutor with the Literacy Lab while others decide to return as a “Senior Fellow” with the Leading Men Fellowship. We also encourage all Fellows to pursue their college degree by awarding up to $2,500 for Fellows who provide evidence of enrolling in a 2 or 4-year college institution.

A Senior Fellow has already completed one year in the Fellowship and has been selected to come back and serve again as a fellow along with additional leadership and mentorship opportunities.