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UNCF K-12 Education Fellowship


The UNCF K-12 Education Fellowship is a leadership and talent development initiative aimed at building a robust pipeline of high-achieving African Americans engaged in education in America. The program selects undergraduate juniors from historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) to participate in a 10-week summer experience that includes leadership development, a paid internship with an innovative K-12 educational organization or school, and participation in an education reform case competition. Upon competition of the ten-week summer experience, Fellows have access to additional coaching and skills development aligned with K-12 career pathways during their senior year of college.


  • Internship Stipend: $4,500
  • Summer Housing & Travel
  • $500 Stipend for Senior Year Experience Career Readiness Series

SUMMER 2024 Dates: May 29 - July 31, 2024, INCLUDING:

  • Student Leadership Conference: May 29 – June 1, 2024
  • Internship with Host Organization: June 3 – July 26, 2024
  • Closing & Alumni Conference: July 27 – July 31, 2024





Phase 1

Application is open September 7, 2023 – November 27, 2023, at 11:59pm ET.

Phase 2

Select candidates will advance to the semi-finalist round. Notifications will be sent to all semi-finalists by December 18, 2023.

Semi-finalists must submit a one-way video interview and a letter of recommendation by January 10, 2024, at 5:00pm ET. Letters of recommendation must be sent via email to: Please include your first and last name in the subject line for all email communication, for example: “John Doe Letter of Recommendation”.

Phase 3

Selected candidates will advance to the finalist round. Notifications will be sent to all finalists by February 1, 2024 . During phase 3, finalists:

  • Meet with designated Host Organization for an informational interview (February 2024)
  • Finalists will be matched with a host organization based on organizational fit and the student’s specific area(s) of interest in the education sector.

The 2024 UNCF K-12 Education Fellowship Cohort will be announced in March 2024



  • Have at least a 3.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale
  • Must be African American and a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident
  • Must be enrolled at an HBCU and classified as a Junior
  • Demonstrated leadership experience and community service while a college student
  • Have an interest in K-12 education as evidenced by academic, paid or volunteer experience, and/or extra-curricular activities


  • Complete the on-line application
  • Submit a personal statement describing your interest in K-12 education
  • Submit a current resume, updated as of Fall 2023
  • Submit a recent transcript as of Fall 2023
  • Submit a letter of recommendation from an administrator or faculty member at your current institution
  • For additional information, please contact:


Paid Summer Internship – Fellows are exposed to professional careers at leading K-12 education organizations and schools focused in areas such as advocacy, policy, research, school operations, and teaching.

Past Host Organizations include Achievement First, Beloved Community, National Alliance of Public Charter Schools, Mastery Schools, Indianapolis Public Schools, Tennessee Department of Education, KIPP DC Capital Teaching Residency, Memphis Teacher Residency, Thomas B. Fordham Research Institute, Urban Teachers and many more.
Our Fellows are deployed to such cities as Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, the District of Columbia, Indianapolis, Memphis, Nashville, New Orleans and New York. 

UNCF Student Leadership Conference (SLC) – Fellows join other UNCF sponsored interns to participate in a 3-day leadership and professional development training prior to starting their internships.

Education Reform Case Competition – The case competition is designed to strengthen Fellows’ critical thinking, problem-solving, and teamwork skills. Fellows are charged with developing solutions to address a specific K-12 education issue in an assigned city, state, or local school community.

Closing & Alumni Conference – Fellows reflect on their summer experience and present and defend their case competition projects. Alumni and Fellows attend skill-based workshops and network with industry leaders.

Post Summer Experience

Senior Year Experience (SYE) – To further Fellows’ professional development post their summer experience, they have access to career coaching, mentoring, and graduate school application assistance during senior year.
Alumni Community and Networking Opportunities – After completing their undergraduate degree, alumni serve as ambassadors of the fellowship and have access to professional development resources, select UNCF sponsored events, and exposure to networking opportunities.