Innovation in Action
The LearnServe Fellows Program brings together high school students from across the Washington, DC, area to learn how to bring sustainable social change to their communities. Over an academic year, students design and launch their own social “ventures” — action projects to benefit their schools and communities.
Past Fellows’ ventures have included a college scholarship fund for children of incarcerated parents, science education for elementary school students, recycling campaigns, food collection drives for families in need, mentorship for middle-schoolers, and after-school language, arts, and math programs.
How it Works
Each summer LearnServe selects 65 Fellows from more than 30 participating high schools across the DC area. Fellows meet 2-3 times per month on Thursday afternoons after school at Metro-accessible locations.
“The best part of the Fellows program was realizing the fact that I could actually create something that could have a positive impact on the lives of other people.”
—LearnServe Fellows Student
Throughout the year Fellows learn from dynamic local leaders and social entrepreneurs — for example from Honest Tea, Operation Understanding DC, and Live Green. They learn core business entrepreneurship skills, including budgeting, strategic planning, and team-building. And they develop business plans for their own venture projects. At the end of the year Fellows “pitch” their ventures to a panel of business and community leaders and other professionals, with the opportunity to receive seed funding to get their ideas off the ground.