LET's GET DIGITAL.

The Digital Citizen Fellowship is an exploration of how technology, the internet, and digital culture shape our democracy. It's built by digital natives, for digital natives.

Join weekly lessons and engage with experts on everything from social media algorithms and AI to extended realities. Together, we'll learn how to  harness future technologies to build a brighter world.

Apply

LET's GET DIGITAL.

The Digital Citizen Fellowship is an exploration of how technology, the internet, and digital culture shape our democracy. Join weekly lessons and engage with experts on everything from social media algorithms and AI to extended realities. Together, we'll learn how to can harness future technologies to build a brighter world.

Apply

FAST FACTS

Application

Applications for the Spring 2024 class close on January 21st, 2024

Eligibility

High school students from anywhere in the United States. Students whose gap year began in June 2023 are also eligible to apply. 

Timeline

The program begins in early February and ends in mid-April, and requires about two hours per week.

Program

The program is digital-first and entirely free for accepted students.

Students will also have the opportunity to attend an in-person gathering of academics, policymakers, and technologists in Washington, D.C.

OTHER PROGRAMS:

TOPICS

Just a few of the fields you'll dive into during the Fellowship.

INTERNET
HISTORY

SOCIAL MEDIA &
MENTAL HEALTH

ALGORITHMS & DIGITAL CULTURE

DATA & THE DATA
ECONOMY

AI & DEMOCRACY

TECH POLICY &
ADVOCACY

DURING THE PROGRAM

LEARN FROM EXPERTS

Every week, you'll participate in a focused lesson delving into specific aspects of digital technology and its role in shaping our democracy. Following each session, you'll have the chance to join a Q&A session with an expert in the field, enhancing your understanding of the day's topic.


Baratunde Thurston and Chris Lewis are just a few of our confirmed speakers – with more announced as we get closer to the program!


DIVE DEEP INTO TECH

This program goes beyond a mere historical overview of the internet or an academic course. Every week, we dive into the technologies and emerging trends that are taking over the conversation.

Are you curious about the mechanics of VR and AR, or intrigued by how TikTok trends might revolutionize political discourse? If these questions resonate with you, then this program is made for you.


START YOUR JOURNEY

At the end of the program, Civics Unplugged will connect you with folks on the ground who are doing the work. If you want to do your own thing, you can apply for funding to build technology, craft policy, or continue exploring the digital future.

WHY BE A 
FELLOW?

Your path as a civic innovator extends far beyond the completion of the program. As a graduate of the Fellowship, you will unlock a tailored collection of empowerment tools designed to assist you in following your passions and making a significant impact on the world.

Job Opportunities

Mentorship Matching

One-Off Workshops

Internship Placement

Project Funding

Specialized Training Programs

WHAT OUR FELLOWS
ARE SAYING

"Civics Unplugged has broadened my perspective on events, people, and life in general. I live in a rather small bubble, and so connecting with fellows across the world reminded me to take into account multiple situations and views before acting."

Joleen Wong
15
Los Angeles, California
Fall '22

"CU has prompted me to look deep into my desires and skills to future cast and identify what careers I can pursue, what lifestyle I want to achieve, and what my definition of success looks like. With this, CU empowered me and made me feel unstoppable."

Aaron Piando
18
McAllen, Texas
Spring '21

"At Civics Unplugged, I met amazing people, many of whom I'm lucky enough to call very close friends. I've developed such close relationships with my peers that I honestly cannot imagine my life without their support."

Arpita Singh
16
Phoenix, Arizona
Fall '22

"Civics Unplugged is a second home for me. I often find myself most comfortable in the CU Community, where I've met lifelong friends and mentors. The Fellowship also gave me long lasting opportunities that I would not have been able to receive at my public high school with limited resources."

Dariel Cruz-Rodriquez
18
Orlando, Florida
Fall '20

"The Fellowship enabled me to launch a career in social-change. While our education system teaches the youth to wait their turn, Civics Unplugged accelerates the projects, potential, and power of our generation to build a brighter future."

Zoë Jenkins
18
Lexington, KY
Fall '20

CASE BRIEFS

Case brief title

The Civic Innovators Fellowship is designed for young leaders who have innovative ideas to solve community issues – and want to start building them now.The Fellowship gives you the knowledge, network, and funding to pursue your passions and launch projects that change the world.

Aaron Piando
18
McAllen, Texas
READ MORE >

Case brief title

The Civic Innovators Fellowship is designed for young leaders who have innovative ideas to solve community issues – and want to start building them now.The Fellowship gives you the knowledge, network, and funding to pursue your passions and launch projects that change the world.

Darena Nguyen
16
Texas
READ MORE >

Case brief title

The Civic Innovators Fellowship is designed for young leaders who have innovative ideas to solve community issues – and want to start building them now.The Fellowship gives you the knowledge, network, and funding to pursue your passions and launch projects that change the world.

Annelise Klein
18
North Dakota
READ MORE >

Case brief title

The Civic Innovators Fellowship is designed for young leaders who have innovative ideas to solve community issues – and want to start building them now.The Fellowship gives you the knowledge, network, and funding to pursue your passions and launch projects that change the world.

Aaron Piando
18
McAllen, Texas
READ MORE >

Questions?
We’ve got answers!

How long is the Civic Innovators Fellowship? 

The Fellowship requires about 2 hours per week, and consists of a weekly lesson, and some asynchronous work. It begins in February and ends in mid-April.  

Who is eligible for the Fellowship?

High school students from anywhere in the world. Students whose gap year began in June 2023 are also eligible to apply. 

Is the Fellowship Free?

Yes! It costs nothing to participate in the Fellowship or any other Civics Unplugged program.

What is the acceptance rate? 

Typically our programs have a 10-14% acceptance rate.

What are the application requirements?

The application consists of basic demographic information and a few written response questions to gauge your potential as a civic innovator.

Does CU have a political affiliation?

No, CU is a non-partisan organization. And in fact, our training helps students grow into thinkers and leaders whose identity and impact transcend conventional political bounds.

When do applications open and close? 

The application for the Civic Innovators Fellowship - Spring 2024 opens on December 1st, 2023 and closes on February 1st, 2024. 

APPLY NOW!

Deadline: January 21st, 2024

Questions?
We’ve got answers!

How long is the Digital Citizen Fellowship?

There are 8 weeks of lessons and an extra two weeks to complete your final project called a Case Brief.

Who is eligible to apply?

High school students from anywhere in the world. Students whose gap year began in June 2023 are also eligible to apply. 

Is the Fellowship Free? 

Yes! It costs nothing to participate in the Fellowship or any other Civics Unplugged program.

What is the acceptance rate? 

This is the first Digital Citizen Fellowship – but we assume the acceptance rate will be around 25%.

What are the application requirements?

The application consists of basic demographic information and a few written response questions to gauge your interest in the digital world and potential as a civic innovator.

Does CU have a political affiliation? 

No, CU is a non-partisan organization. And in fact, our training helps students grow into thinkers and leaders whose identity and impact transcend conventional political bounds.

When do applications open and close? 

The application for the Civic Innovators Fellowship - Spring 2024 opens on December 1st, 2023 and closes on January 21st, 2024. 

OTHER PROGRAMS

The Civic Innovation Academy: Georgetown

The Academy gives you the opportunity to attend workshops led by members of Congress and CEOs, and work alongside top officials at the departments of State, Treasury, Education, and Transportation. No other program puts you in the room with the people impacting policy at such a high level. 

75 Fellows 

In Person

Program Dates: June 22-29, 2024

Applications Close: April 1st, 2024, at 11:59 PM EST

true
In-Person

Civic Innovators Fellowship

The Civic Innovators Fellowship is designed for young leaders who are passionate about solving community issues and want to channel their passion into innovative action. You'll learn the  5 skills of a civic innovator, dive deep into case studies and solvathons, and get matched with mentors, internships, and funding opportunities.

‍350 fellows

Virtual

Program Dates: February - April 

Application Deadline: February 1st, 2024

false
Online

The Digital Citizen Fellowship

The Digital Citizen Fellowship is a 10 week educational program for high school students interested in data, AI, algorithms, social media, and the digital world. During the program, you’ll learn about everything from the history of the internet and machine learning to how new technologies can strengthen our democracy.

100 Fellows

Virtual

Program Dates: February - April 

Application Deadline: January 21st, 2024

false
Online

The Civic Innovation Academy: Austin TX

Travel to Austin, TX to attend workshops led by experts in housing, transportation, energy, jobs, and public infrastructure who are solving challenges in one of the country's fastest growing cities.

30 Fellows

Program Dates: November 16-19 2023

APPLICATIONS CLOSED!

false
In-Person

The Civic Innovation Academy: UCLA

The Academy gives you the opportunity to attend workshops led by members of Congress and CEOs, work alongside leading researchers and private companies, and explore the civic innovation happening in Los Angeles.

50 Fellows

In Person at UCLA

Program Dates: Aug 11-17, 2024

Applications Close: April 1st, 2024, at 11:59 PM EST

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