Fellowship Program Description
The High Ground Veterans Advocacy Program is a professional development program, not a personal development program. This program takes individuals interested in affecting policy change and trains them to become national veteran advocates. This program involves three months of mandatory preparation for The Advocacy Experience and the week-long Experience itself, followed by one year of active engagement.
Designed Around You: Classes are very small and tailored to the individual advocacy goals of each Fellow. Check out our previous Fellows to see the issues they've worked on.
The Onboarding Process: The Onboarding Process is the period from which a Fellow is accepted to the Fellowship to prepare for The Advocacy Experience. This process includes getting to know your other classmates via electronic communication, fundraising, and preparation of documents for The Advocacy Experience. Transportation must be purchased by the fellows no later than four weeks prior to The Advocacy Experience (we will only reimburse for economy class travel. If you would like to travel in any other class, you must purchase and will not be reimbursed.) Fellows must raise $1,000 prior to attending the The Advocacy Experience in order to receive reimbursement of travel costs. Fellows will receive High Ground sponsored G-Suite accounts for official use. This will allow them to develop their Long Form Bio, polish policy proposals, set up a fundraising page, and prepare and share press releases with support from High Ground staff. It is also critical to establish social media accounts (if not already established.)
The Advocacy Experience: The Advocacy Experience is the 7-10 day training in DC. During this period you will learn Team-building, establish your “brand" and get to know the policy process and how DC works. You’ll also learn valuable strategies for Messaging and Communications and Storm the Hill events. Fellows will put final touches on the draft “One-Pager” for their policy proposal that they worked on in the Onboarding phase. The Directors will arrange meetings with House/Senate members and staff. Dress code is business casual for training periods and business dress for storming the Hill, unless otherwise advised by the Directors.
Active Advocacy: Active Advocacy is the twelve month period following The Advocacy Experience and represents High Ground’s continued support to Fellows and their contributions back to High Ground. It will include such things as completing the HGVA After Action Report, drafting a One Year Advocacy Plan, and completion (or continuation) of Fundraising. Fellows will receive support from the Directors as well as Continuing Fellows and will work to fulfill the policy goals in their One Year Advocacy Plan. Fellows will continue fundraising efforts until they have reached, or even surpass, their fundraising goal.
Physical Requirements: Physical requirements for participation in the HGVA Fellowship are set with the expectation that there will be a number of meetings on Capitol Hill each day, often scheduled close together to pack in as much “face time” as possible with members and their staffs. These requirements include the ability to walk at a rapid pace for short durations, the ability to walk up to four miles a day, the ability to ascend and descend stairs, the ability to work steadily for 10-12 hours per day, the ability to speak at a typical cadence and volume, and the ability to carry up to 10 pounds.
Reasonable accommodations will be made for participants with disabilities. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to the HGVA Directors.
Continued Engagement: After the 12 month Active Advocacy is completed, Fellows will become mentors to the subsequent classes of fellows and receive continued advocacy support on the policy goals in their One Year Advocacy Plan.
Once a Fellow, Always a Fellow: Policymaking is an iterative process that takes a lot of time and effort. From the moment our Fellows are accepted into the program, our team begins to mentor and advise you so that you can accomplish your desired advocacy goals. The training in Washington is only the beginning of our Fellows' policymaking journey. Applicants should be aware that persistence and long-term commitment are required to shape national policies.
Designed Around You: Classes are small and tailored to the individual advocacy goals of each Fellow. Check out our previous Fellows to see the issues they've worked on.
Applicants must have served in the United States military and be an active member in any reputable military or veteran-focused organization. We do not discriminate against veterans with "bad-paper" discharges.
WHO SHOULD APPLY:
Veterans with a serious interest in advocacy and being engaged in the policymaking process. Have you ever felt that the VA, DoD or other agency is letting people fall through the cracks? Have you ever seen a problem with government and thought "someone should fix that"? If so, this is your opportunity to learn what it takes to enact positive change for our country.
APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS THAT CAN BE QUICKLY COMPLETED IN THE GOOGLE FORM BELOW:
Basic personal information
A very short "elevator pitch" essay (1000 characters maximum, about 250 words).
Go to the end and submit the form to save your progress.
Additional Required Supporting documents:
2-3 Page Policy Proposal
A Letter of Recommendation