What are the day to day tasks, outside of FirstGEN programming?

Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC (Advancing Justice | AAJC:

Fellows will have the opportunity to gain a wide breadth of experience in the various practice areas at Advancing Justice | AAJC. Anticipated assignments include: planning and moderating public education events; drafting press releases on breaking news; attending meetings on Capitol Hill and with federal agencies; researching and drafting fact sheets, and legislative testimony.

Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC): CLINIC’s Advocacy section tackles problems faced by low-income immigrants and the CLINIC member agencies that serve them.  At the national level, CLINIC’s advocacy team works closely with Administration officials at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR). At the local level, CLINIC supports the efforts of advocates working to combat state and local anti-immigrant measures. To increase representation to detained immigrants, CLINIC coordinates the Board of Immigration Appeals Pro Bono Project.

Fellows placed with CLINIC will assist attorneys in resolving immigration issues through advocacy, education, pro bono representation, litigation, and media.  They will review and draft comments on government regulations and policy memos and attend meetings with government agencies, hearings, and other events.  In addition, fellows will assist the nonprofit legal service providers in CLINIC’s network with individual case inquiries, research and analyze state immigration-related legislation, and support pro bono attorneys in immigration appeals.

Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights:

The Lawyers’ Committee’s Public Policy Project leads and coordinates the organizational policy agenda through the development, analysis and support of all Lawyers’ Committee projects by providing policy leadership, advocacy, visibility and materials for the Hill and in coalitions on substantive priorities as they arise on the legislative calendar.  The Public Policy Project is led by Kim Tignor, who was recently recognized by On Being a Lawyer of Color as one of the country’s top lawyers under the age of 40.

Fellows placed with the Lawyers’ Committee Public Policy Project engage in research and writing, producing issue briefs and policy statements. They attend and report on coalition meetings, as well as briefings and hearings taking place on the Hill, and may prepare testimony and talking points for Lawyers’ Committee staff members.  Fellows are likely to work on a wide range of issues related to any of our substantive projects, such as Voting, Education, and Fair Housing, as well as perform duties related to Public Policy core initiatives, such as the Judicial Diversity Program and Criminal Justice reform efforts.

The Lawyers’ Committee’s Educational Opportunities Project (EOP) strives to guarantee that all students receive equal educational opportunities in public schools and institutions of higher learning.  The EOP created the Parental Readiness & Empowerment Program (PREP) to ensure parents become successful advocates for their children by training them on their legal rights in their child’s education. PREP offers workshops and clinics for parents and an online national resource center providing additional guidance for parents on education laws, policies and procedures for all 50 states.

Fellows placed with the EOP and PREP will assist attorneys by developing curricula for parent and youth workshops; engaging in research and writing; conducting outreach to parents and partner organizations; attending and reporting on coalition meetings, as well as briefings and hearings taking place on the Hill; and providing support for litigation efforts.  Fellows will play a critical role in the development and launch of PREP’s National Platform (, which will offer multiple access points for families to understand their rights under federal and state education law. The lead attorney for the PREP program is Natasha Quiroga. Read more about her here.

National Immigration Law Center (NILC): As a national advocacy organization working for social justice, the National Immigration Law Center’s (NILC) mission is to promote and advance the rights and opportunities of low-income immigrants, and their families. NILC’s federal policy office in Washington, D.C. engages in policy analysis, education, and advocacy, and is led by Don Lyster. Prior to joining NILC, Don was a congressional aide for ten years, serving in various capacities for Sen. Paul Sarbanes, Sen. Edward Kennedy at the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration, and most recently Congresswoman Solis, for whom he was legislative counsel, and, later, Chief of Staff.

Fellows placed with NILC’s Washington, D.C. office engage in research and writing, producing issue briefs and policy statements.  They attend and report on coalition meetings, as well as briefings and hearings taking place on the Hill.  Fellows are likely to work on a wide range of issues related to one of NILC’s priority areas: education access, economic justice, workers’ rights, detention and deportation, legalization, and health.  NILC provides a rich environment for fellows to learn about the immigrant rights movement and to work alongside attorneys and policy analysts involved in national policy analysis and advocacy.

Fellows placed with any of the host organizations should expect collegial but fast-paced and demanding work environments.

What information is required to apply?

Applications must be submitted online here. To apply, you will need to submit current contact information (address, phone, and e-mail); university name, graduation date, and major; one page résumé, which should include relevant prior experiences working or volunteering in public service; and a reflective essay (in place of a cover letter) not to exceed two typed double-spaced pages, describing why the applicant is passionate about pursuing a career in social justice. If you have any problems submitting the application online, please contact

What do you look for in an applicant?

The FirstGEN Fellowship Committee seeks bright undergraduate students, who are first generation college students, dedicated to pursuing careers in the social justice field. Applicants should possess a track record of public service through volunteer work/community service. If an applicant lacks a public service track record, he or she may include an additional page explaining the circumstances preventing this type of engagement. Candidates who are people of color, women, LGBTQ, or other minorities are strongly encouraged to apply.

Am I required to reside in the District of Columbia during the fellowship?

No one is required to reside in the District of Columbia. Please note that the Lawyers’ Committee and NILC are located in downtown Washington D.C., while CLINIC is located in Silver Spring, MD.  All three offices are Metro accessible.

Am I required to find housing on my own?

Yes, each fellow is required to find housing. We would be happy to provide suggestions.

How much is each fellow awarded?

For the upcoming 2016 summer program, each fellow will receive a stipend to be used for living expenses.

When you say first generation student, do you mean within your immediate family?


My older sibling graduates one year ahead of me, do I still qualify?

Every applicant will have a different story to share, please share yours and the Selection Committee will make a decision based on your specific situation.

When will the fellowship commence?

Our aim is to have all six fellows commence this program on the same day in early June or as close together as possible, however, we are flexible. The best thing to do is to apply and include in your application when you would be able to commence.

I graduate before this program begins, am I eligible?

Yes, as long as you are enrolled at the time you submit your application materials.

A parent has a two-year associate degree, am I eligible?

Include this information in your application, the Selection Committee will make certain decisions on a case by case basis.

What is the timeline for applications?

Applications for summer 2019 are accepted through February 8, 2019. Up to six fellows will be selected by April 2019. Ten-week summer fellowships will commence approximately during the first week of June 2019. The exact start date will be finalized after the 2019 FirstGEN Fellows are selected.