Open Call for Applicants – Deadline for submission – 15th April 2017

We invite professionals from any region of Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia to apply for participation in a 42-day fellowship in the U.S.A in the Fall 2017. We encourage submissions by professionals who are actively involved in programs related to citizen participation and advocacy (NGO/civil society development), civic education organizations, citizen advocacy groups, community activists and/or community organizers who work with minority groups. The overall goal of the program is to provide a professional development opportunity for mid-level emerging leaders; create a forum for American and foreign participants to collaborate and share ideas and strategies; and build a global network of professionals able to work effectively in an interconnected environment.

This program is a two-way exchange involving professionals and leaders from the U.S. and selected European countries who will effect positive change in their communities. U.S. mentors will share their professional expertise with fellows of this program and travel for a two-week reciprocal visit to their counterpart organizations for consulting and jointly workshops to share experience and to promote mutual understanding and partnership between key professional groups in the United States and counterpart groups in the selected European countries.


  • develop enhanced leadership and professional skills and effect positive change in their workplaces and communities;
  • build mutual understanding, and create lasting and sustainable partnerships.
  • EU fellows will learn U.S. practices in sustaining civic participation and advocacy with minority communities
  • explore diverse community organizing methods for citizens solving problems in their own communities
  • learn skills in community leadership development and gain hands-on experience at civil society organizations in the U.S.
  • European participants will observe the role of their U.S. counterparts and gain in-depth knowledge and experience as well as adaptable approaches that they can implement after their return.


To apply for the Fellowship Exchange Program applicants need to:

  • be age 25 to 40;
  • have good organisational and management skills
  • be interested in long-term international cooperation
  • have good communication and presentation skills
  • be proficient in written and oral English
  • be self-directed and able to work in effectively in cross-cultural setting
  • demonstrating leadership abilities
  • be available for the 42 days in U.S.A.
  • be available for hosting U.S. mentors in their own countries for at least 3 days

To apply for the Fellowship Exchange Program applicants need to fill the application form and attached the following documents:

  1. Please write an essay in English why and how you are working with minority population and list any field experience or success story that you may have in working with them (No more than 2 typed pages, single spaced.) Please be ready to provide additional information on this later if you are selected.
  2. Statement of Interest from the organization whom you would like to represent in this program stating that they are interested in using community organizing in their activities and will welcome the U.S. mentor to their organization and support your activities before and after the U.S. trip.
  3. Action plan for 6-8 month field work before the U.S. trip (on GLC template).
  4. Scanned copy of your passport bio pages (with your photo and date of birth on it)
  5. A passport size of head shot photo in front of a white wall in high resolution

“I was a lucky to be a selected participant for the Professional Fellows Program. The experience was for me truly inspiring, because I have met a lot of people with similar interest and from countries which face more or less the same problems connected with intolerance, xenophobia, homophobia and revival of neonacism and far right movements. Moreover, I can share my own experiences and be inspired by others. The most important part of my program in the U.S. was definitely my internship for Resurrection Project, and NGO based in Chicago, Illinois. My mentor and also my host at the same time was Mr. Joshua Hoyt who was a truly inspiring person. I was impressed by his passion to fight for immigrants’ rights. He empowered me a lot and taught me the strategies which can be applied in my home country. I would like to thank you the U.S. Department of State, all leaders at the Resurrection Project, Dr. Elizabeth Balint and also many other people who made this experience truly unforgettable and useful for my future involvement in civic engagement and activities.”

Michal Budaj
Michal Budaj Bratislava, Slovakia

“Being part of this fellowship program opened my eyes to the connections between the different entities and fields of the system and the consequences of the lack of thinking holistic and just. I have never thought that one day I can commit myself to organize a community for structural change and being able to get in contact with decision-makers, even get to know the way how to make pressure on them. All this experience transformed me: I can think of structuring my knowledge different way, which brings all the goals and activities what I have previously done on a higher level. I have a better insight of how art can support community organizing processes, and I identify myself better on my work-field as community developer and organizer. I feel this is the beginning of a very significant, long-term journey in my life. I can’t express how thankful I am for being selected, for having the possibility to learn from Community Voices Heard staff and members, for getting to know the other Eastern-European fellows, building connections with them and with more NGO’s in the U.S. All these experiences make me believe stronger that: Everything is possible!”

Krisztina Katona
Krisztina Katona Pecs, Hungary

“The fellowship in U.S. proved to be a unique professional and personal experience for me, offering the opportunity to shadow, learn, work and share in a very dynamic and intercultural environment. I had the chance to meet and work with the Washington CAN’s team and members, incredible people who are fighting against racial, health, housing, minimum wage, social injustices, using the community organizing for changing policies in Washington State. All activities in which I participated: one on one discussions, staff meetings, workshops, direct actions, volunteering, trainings, community meetings, fundraising canvases, gave me a new perspective for my future work in Romania as a community organizer. I am grateful to all people I met and learnt from in these 6-week professional fellowship, as well as to those who made this opportunity possible.”

Claudia Macaria
Claudia Macaria Cluj Napoca, Romania

“The Professional Fellows Program enables leaders or activists in places that work for their community to share best practices and learn new practices to use in their work with their minority target group. America is famous for its best practices in community organizing. I am pleased to participate in this program, because I think that my visit here in America gave me the perfect opportunity to upgrade my knowledge and skills already learned and gained best new practices for working with ethnic groups. I gained experience in Chicago at the Resurrection Project that will help me to develop a better strategy of  my organization for the next three years. The main priorities that will set are: community organizing, education and work with entrepreneurs from my community.”

Asen Karagyozov
Asen KaragyozovPlovdiv, Bulgaria

36 participants (9 from each selected European country) will be included in two delegations visiting the U.S.A.  The first delegation has been selected and the second delegation will travel between October 4-November 17, 2017.