Fostering Student-Led Advocacy in Higher-Ed

We believe students have a central role to play in creating systemic change. 

Are you interested in making a difference in California’s higher-ed policy? Changemakers is a 12-month paid fellowship that empowers students to be effective advocates for change at California’s colleges and universities. During the fellowship, Changemakers’ student fellows will expand their knowledge and understanding of the issues impacting today’s diverse student population, while simultaneously developing the leadership skills and advocacy strategies to pursue policy change. Student fellows will also have the opportunity to meet with policymakers, higher education leaders, and educational equity advocates to improve college access and attainment for underrepresented students in California.  We are looking for students who are passionate about addressing systemic higher-ed issues in California! Emerging student leaders and advocates are encouraged to apply to the fellowship when the application opens in November of each year. The 12-month fellowship runs from January – December.

View our 2022 Changemakers in action!

Fellowship Timeline

Phase 1: Changemakers will participate in training sessions to develop skills, build relationships, and learn about issues college students are facing today.  January 2022 – April 2022


Phase 2: Changemakers will be assigned to smaller teams to create and implement advocacy and outreach campaigns aligned with SoCal CAN’s Policy Agenda. Changemakers will utilize our Let’s Go To College CA student-led hub to communicate with our growing online student community and build support for their advocacy goals. Additionally, each team will be assigned a policy advisor from the field with deep expertise in the specific issues selected by the students. May 2022 – December 2022


Fellows Gain

  • Knowledge of the major issues impacting today’s students.
  • An understanding of the systemic barriers students face at California’s colleges and universities.
  • Self-efficacy in identifying barriers to success, developing policy solutions, fostering relationships with higher-ed policymakers, and advocating for systems change.
  • Interpersonal skills, relationship-building skills, and effective communication skills, that will enable them to be future advocates for other political and social issues.
  • A stipend for their participation in the fellowship.
  • Priority to apply for another SoCal CAN program that is being developed to help underrepresented students be elected or appointed to student government boards and statewide or local commissions.

Eligibility Criteria 

  • Be a student, in good academic standing, enrolled at a public higher-ed college or university in California.
  • Priority will be given to students affiliated with a SoCal CAN member organization, but ALL are encouraged to apply.
  • Expected graduation on or after the year 2024. 
  • Demonstrated passion for higher education and/or student advocacy.
  • Motivated to become a leader and make a difference.

Become a Changemaker

Fellows are expected to:

  • Attend monthly virtual sessions during the calendar year and engage in routine check-ins with the SoCal CAN team. (Opportunities for in-person activities will be explored later in the fellowship)
  • Complete all tasks/assignments in between sessions and check-ins according to deadlines. 
  • Design and execute an advocacy campaign with their respective team. 
  • Submit a team project report at the culmination of the fellowship.
  • Complete a pre-survey and post-survey to help SoCal CAN evaluate the program

For any questions or inquiries please contact: Marcos Montes /