The San Diego Leadership Alliance (SDLA) Institute is the a civic leadership training program for progressive young professionals.
- How do I apply for the SDLA Institute in San Diego?
- What is the SDLA Institute?
- Does the SDLA Institute cost money?
- What are you looking for in SDLA Fellows?
- How are Fellows selected?
- What do Fellows go on to do?
- Who runs SDLA Institute?
- When will the Institute sessions be?
Applications will be available online at sdleadership.org/apply after Labor Day each year. You can be the first to know when applications are posted by signing up for our email list.
You can also nominate someone for the SDLA Institute here.
The SDLA Institute is a program that equips Fellows with the skills, opportunities, and relationships to make change in San Diego.
The training programs focuses on a core curriculum of personal leadership development, communications, fund raising, political strategy, traditional and new media, and public speaking. The Fellows also organize a fundraiser to put into practice their organizing skills, and to help fund the next year’s class.
The SDLA Institute spans 10 full days on weekends between January and June, usually on Saturdays.
The program is designed to provide Fellows with the tools they need to take the next step in their careers. The training program is relevant to Fellows who work inside and outside of politics, with an emphasis on preparing young people to be engaged in civic life throughout their careers.
Fellows spend time meeting with local leaders from across sectors, including through pairings with career mentors.
The SDLA Institute is free to ensure that financial means are not a barrier to participation.
Fellows who are admitted to the SDLA Institute pay a refundable $200 deposit. Fellows who graduate from the program receive their deposit back.
We are looking for progressive young professionals who are committed to improving San Diego.
The SDLA Institute attracts accomplished young people who have distinguished themselves. Fellows have created an organization or business, led an organization to distinction, or demonstrated an ability to create change by realizing a vision and compelling others to follow it.
Usually, our Fellows are between the ages of 22 and 35. Generally, Fellows have either completed their education, or they are currently enrolled in a graduate or professional program. A college degree is not required.
Each year, we select between 15 – 20 Fellows.
Diversity: Fellows represent the diversity of the progressive movement in terms of race, gender, sexual orientation, income, and industry. The SDLA places a high priority on diversity.
Cross-Section of Society: Fellows don’t just come from the world of politics and government. SDLA Fellows are recruited from fields like defense, technology, non-profit management, law, real estate, medicine, media, small business, and education.
Applicants are scored on the basis of written applications. A subset of applicants are invited for a second round of consideration which includes an interview.
A committee reviews applications and interviews candidates. Selections committee members do not score applications or interview candidates with whom they have a personal preexisting relationship.
The Fellows class is chosen to ensure a diverse group of participants, including diversity of race, gender, sexual identity, occupation, goals, and background.
Written applications are available usually between Labor Day and early-November.
Interviews are scheduled in early December, usually on a Saturday.
Applicants are notified if they have been selected as an SDLA Fellow in mid-December.
Many Fellows use the network and experience they gained from the SDLA Institute to change careers, serve on local boards and commissions, or take on other leadership roles in their community.
The SDLA alumni community in San Diego has relationships with a broad spectrum of key employers and progressive stakeholders in the region.
The SDLA Institute is a program of the San Diego Leadership Alliance (SDLA), a nonprofit run by volunteers with a commitment to a progressive future for San Diego. You can read about our leadership team here.
Institute sessions are scheduled for 10 days from January through June. The sessions are usually on Saturdays.
The 2017 SDLA Institute Sessions:
SESSIONS 1 & 2. Saturday & Sunday, January 21 and 22
Happy Hour to follow with Fellows only.
SESSIONS 3. Saturday, February 4
Happy Hour to follow with SDLA Board and Institute Alumni.
SESSION 4. Saturday, February 11
SESSION 5. Saturday, March 4
SESSION 6. Saturday, March 18
SESSION 7. Saturday, April 1
SESSION 8. Saturday, April 15
SESSION 9. Saturday, April 29
FELLOWS FUNDRAISER. Mid-May 2017
SESSION 10. Saturday, May 20
SESSION 11. Saturday, June 3: Graduation
*All sessions run from 9:30 am – 5:30 pm (except Graduation which is only in the afternoon).
Applicants should review the Institute schedule prior to applying, as all Fellows are expected to be present for the entirety of each Institute session.