By: Kristin Hunziker, NLC-SF Selections Chair


“The Millennials have arrived, and they could rescue the civic health of our nation after decades of decline. 

The National Conference on Citizenship reported in 2009 that Millennials “lead the way in volunteering” with a 43 percent service rate, compared to only 35 percent for Baby Boomers.

Millennials, however, are much less likely to exercise their sense of civic purpose through [government]. They are more likely to be ‘social entrepreneurs,’ working outside government to create innovative and measurably successful solutions to the nation’s problems.”

To Millennials, the world is filled with injustice and need, but government isn’t the solution. They have apps for that.”

– From “The Outsiders: How Can Millennials Change Washington If They Hate It?” by Ron Fournier in The Atlantic; August 26, 2013.


The New Leaders Council (NLC) was founded in 2005, before most other people had even begun thinking about the power of the millennial generation. Eight years later, NLC is the nation’s premiere organization for training young progressive leaders. Our goals are twofold: first, to train up-and-coming millennial leaders to be progressive powerhouses in their communities, board rooms, and capitol buildings; second, to create an unrivaled network of those trained leaders whose individual accomplishments are only outshined by their collaborative ones.

NLC was created precisely because millennials are committed more than any generation before us to addressing injustice and need, but even more importantly because there won’t be any apps for that unless we invest in the people who are going to envision them. It’s the people – the millennial leaders of tomorrow – who will found the companies that develop the apps and who will write the legislation that allows them to flourish.

Although NLC believes that progressive millennials can make a difference both within government and outside it, there’s no arguing with the data: millennials are more interested in solving social problems via the private and non-profit sectors rather than through government. That’s why NLC trains future leaders across all sectors and all industries to be progressive leaders. We believe that the progressive community is stronger when we embrace our diversity, which is why we search out and promote social justice-oriented entrepreneurs, innovators, and dreamers in any sector.

NLC accomplishes its two goals through our Institute, five weekends over five months of life-changing leadership development, training, mentoring, and networking. The good news is that applications for the Institute Class of 2014 are now open!


Should You Apply to NLC’s Institute?

If you’re a millennial leader within your community who’s already creating “innovative and measurably successful solutions to the nation’s problems,” NLC’s Institute is right for you. Each year, NLC San Francisco recruits eighteen of the Bay Area’s fastest-rising progressive stars. Last year’s Fellows worked in law, fundraising, green energy start-ups, fashion, local government, education, business consulting, racial justice organizing, medicine, aerospace engineering, cupcake boutiques, prison re-entry programs, and yes, app development.

Likewise, NLC Fellows represent the diversity of the progressive movement in terms of gender, ethnicity, nationality, income, sexual orientation, religion, and political affiliation: last year’s class had nine women and nine men, twelve people of color, and eighteen different paths to a life committed to social justice.

We specifically search for young professionals who have finished their formal education – college degree not required – and narrowed their career path to a specific industry and to a focused set of career goals. The ideal NLC Fellow demonstrates progressive values, a proven track record of leadership and of giving back to her community, and a compelling story of pursuing justice within her career.

If you’re considering applying, please click here to read more about Institute. You can apply between September 3 and October 23, 2013.

We look forward to reading your completed application!


Kristin Hunziker is the Selections Chair for NLC SF and a Legislative Aide for Berkeley City Councilmember Gordon Wozniak. She is soon headed to law school to start a career in making sure that every American can afford health insurance. In her spare time, she likes to swim, snowboard, learn foreign languages, play the piano, and eat spicy food. She would love to be your friend on Facebook and follow you on Twitter