Build sustainable digital literacy programs
Your organization faces many barriers to meeting your community's social, economic, and civic needs. When people in your community don’t have internet access or the skills to use it, those barriers are even higher.
But, creating a digital literacy program can be complicated. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you don’t know where to start. Our instructors know what works and what doesn’t and will guide you as you create your own digital literacy program.
Become a fellow, and you’ll plan and launch an innovative, sustainable digital literacy program that meets your community’s needs and advances your organization’s mission.
About the fellowship
NTEN’s Digital Inclusion Fellowship supports professionals working at organizations with deep connections to communities most impacted by digital divides that would benefit from digital literacy programs.
All fellows are supported by NTEN as they design and implement a digital inclusion program. These programs are tailored to the organization's and fellow's specific needs and contexts.
Each cohort of fellows is an impressive group of people passionate about bringing digital equity to their communities. Fellows receive:
Professional development in best practices in digital inclusion, digital literacy, adult education, curriculum development, and program management.
Advice and mentorship throughout the year and new relationships with an expansive national network of other fellows, partners, and experts in digital inclusion.
Evaluation tools to assess a program’s progress, and shared resources, guides, and toolkits for sustainable digital literacy programs.
Visibility nationally as a digital inclusion trailblazer through opportunities to speak at conferences, present webinars, and publish articles.
Since 2015, fellowship cohorts have implemented programs to help build sustainable digital literacy programs in rural and urban communities across the United States. Read about their work.
Coming soon — meet the 2023 fellows!
These emerging leaders in our ninth cohort joined the fellowship to hone their professional skills and develop new and enhanced digital literacy programs for adults.
Apply to be a Digital Inclusion Fellow
The deadline to submit an application was August 30.
(The following information applies to the 2023–2024 fellowship.)Access to technology and the skills to use it are not optional. They are essential for our daily lives.
The pandemic forced people to move their lives online — from education to telehealth — but it quickly became evident that access was inconsistent. Because many communities lacked affordable home broadband, devices, and digital literacy skills, existing gaps in services were exacerbated. As a result, public awareness of the digital divide finally reached a tipping point.
Even though we have resumed in-person gatherings, we must maintain our commitment to ensuring our communities have the access, devices, and skills required to engage in society fully. By supporting local communities in accessing the needed resources, we can make massive strides in combating inequities.
NTEN’s year-long Digital Inclusion Fellowship supports local nonprofit leaders in creating and building programs that serve their communities. These programs help:
- Parents support their children’s online learning and communicate with teachers.
- Job seekers achieve certifications, develop resumes, and search for jobs.
- Seniors use technology to communicate with loved ones.
- Adults access government information and programs.
- Entrepreneurs start or expand an online business.
- Families acquire devices.
- Refugees and their families acquire devices and learn basic digital skills.
- Rural areas, as historically these areas, have limited access to the Internet and devices due to infrastructure.
(The following information applies to the 2023–2024 fellowship.)As a fellow, over the course of the year, you'll receive:
- A project grant between $1,000 and $5,000.
- Comprehensive support, including orientation and monthly training, focused on program design and project management skills.
- An opportunity to earn the Digital Equity Professional Certificate.
- Collaboration and support from peers via fellowship calls and an online community.
- Support with designing and launching a new or expanded digital literacy program.
- Mentorship through check-ins with NTEN staff and connections with former fellows.
- Opportunities to travel to, speak at, and attend conferences.
- Connection with a national network of digital inclusion experts.
(The following information applies to the 2023–2024 fellowship.)
- July 17: Applications open. Interviews conducted on a rolling basis.
- August 11: Early application review deadline.
- September 15: Applicants notified.
- October 30 - Nov 2: In-person orientation in Portland, Oregon.
(The following information applies to the 2023–2024 fellowship.)Each fellow is required to:
- Participate in the in-person orientation in Portland, Oregon, which will require a commitment of 30 to 40 hours over one week.
- Craft a year-long project plan that includes leadership and program goals for serving a specific number of unique participants, instruction hours, trained volunteers, or other related service areas. The fellow tracks these goals and reports them to NTEN every month. Fellows are expected to start piloting their projects within the first 90 days of the fellowship.
- Participate in monthly online training. Depending on the training format, the time commitment for these training sessions will range from one to two and half hours per month.
- Engage in mentorship by participating in monthly calls with mentors and reaching out to mentors for additional one-on-one support.
- Participate in monthly cohort calls with other fellows. These calls require one hour per month.
- Participate in a monthly one-on-one check-in with NTEN staff to discuss plans, progress, and challenges. These calls are 15 to 60 minutes long, and fellows are welcome to schedule additional calls to ensure they have the advice and support they need.
Who can apply
(The following information applies to the 2023–2024 fellowship.)All employees of nonprofits and social service agencies in locations where a fellowship is available are invited to apply. Participation in the fellowship in one of the available locations does not cost the organization anything other than your staff time. We do not provide a salary or staff stipends outside of travel and accommodations for training or other cohort events. If you're interested in participating but are not located in one of the available locations, email us to learn more about your options for joining the fellowship.
Successful fellows will have a background in community work and program management, including regular reporting to outside partners or funders. Previous fellows have worked in public libraries, housing authorities, adult literacy organizations, social services, workforce development, and digital inclusion organizations.
We seek fellows engaged with and members of the communities they wish to serve. Familiarity with digital inclusion, digital literacy, and adult education is preferred but unnecessary. Applicants must have the full support of their supervisor to commit a significant amount of time to this year-long, project-based fellowship. Fellows should be situated in a role that empowers them to closely manage the program and relevant partnerships.
(The following information applies to the 2023–2024 fellowship.)Sponsored fellowship positions are available in the following locations. The sponsorship covers all costs associated with the fellowship.
- Atlanta, Georgia
- Austin, Texas
- Cache County, Utah
- Charlotte, North Carolina
- Cleveland, Ohio
- Des Moines, Iowa
- Kansas City, Missouri and Kansas
- Nashville, Tennessee
- Omaha, Nebraska
- Pocatello, Idaho
- Portland, Oregon
- Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina
- Salt Lake County, Utah
- San Antonio, Texas
- San Francisco (focused on Chinatown), California
- Utah County, Utah
- Utah (anywhere in the state)
Make the case
(The following information applies to the 2023–2024 fellowship.)Becoming a fellow may mean that some of your other projects and responsibilities will need to be handed off to other staff, deprioritized, or integrated more deeply into your digital equity work. How can you make a case to your supervisor that participating in the fellowship is worthwhile?
- Think about the digital inclusion program you want to work on. How much of your time will it take up? The time commitment will likely vary from week to week, with more time needed to launch the program. Think about the time and responsibility trade-offs that will have to be made to develop an appropriate transition plan for any proposed shifts to other colleagues.
- Is your supervisor already engaged in digital inclusion work and conversations? If not, you may need to talk about why digital literacy and internet access are relevant to your work. How can you illustrate the critical need for digital inclusion work in your community?
- Share your vision for a digitally empowered constituency. How will gaining new skills, devices, or access transform your community? How will it help your organization better meet its mission? Being a fellow can help bring this vision into reality. For examples of previous fellow projects and what they have accomplished, review our spotlights of previous cohorts.
- Highlight the value of the fellowship. Sponsors are investing $20,000 to $25,000 per fellowship. That covers a project grant between $1,000 and $5,000, a year of monthly professional development opportunities, extensive support from NTEN staff, the chance to earn NTEN's Digital Equity Professional Certificate, as well as opportunities to speak, be published, and gain recognition as a leader in digital inclusion.
There is a sponsored opening currently available in NTEN’s Digital Inclusion Fellowship. The early application deadline is August 11, and I would like to apply for the program.
As a Digital Inclusion Fellow, I will focus on developing new and improved digital literacy training for the people we serve. The fellowship supports this effort with extensive training, consultation with subject matter experts, and an evaluation plan. Past fellows’ projects have had a far reach, providing thousands of adults with digital skills training.
Sponsors cover the fellowship costs entirely, so there are no additional costs for us. However, I estimate that I will need to spend [number] hours per week on this program. [Insert details of how you think your current work will be affected and what suggestions you have to offset or shift responsibilities.]
This fellowship is an excellent opportunity for [organization name] to demonstrate leadership and commitment to our community through digital inclusion. [Insert examples of how digital inclusion work ties into your organization’s programs/goals]. Fellows have been interviewed as experts on the news, invited to speak on panels, and recognized in journals for their innovative work.
Thanks in advance for considering my request. I’d love to chat more about this opportunity and answer any questions you may have.
Samantha Akwei (2016)
Julian Alexander (2023)
Ashlee Areostatico (2021)
Ellie Avis (2019)
Kelsey Baird (2021)
Laura Barragan (2023)
Pearce Barringer (2021)
Sarah Bell (2015, 2016)
Natali Betancur (2023)
Gina Birch (2021)
Kayla Bradshaw (2020)
James Butts (2015, 2016)
Mike Byrd (2015, 2016)
Dallana Camargo (2023)
Ruben Campillo (2015)
Melissa Canan (2020)
Angelina Marie Cortes (2020, 2021)
Tianca Crocker (2016)
Lorena Cuffy (2017)
Becky DeForest (2018)
Gabryella Desporte (2019)
Troy Dillard (2023)
Djimet Dogo (2023)
Necole Durham (2017)
Charly Eaton (2016)
Shauna Edson (2016)
Elizabeth Endres (2021)
Joshua Everett (2020)
Andrew Farrelly (2018)
Emily Flores (2019)
Oneisha Freeman (2021)
Joanne Telser-Frere (2018)
Kyra Gomez (2019)
Alicia Greasby (2021)
Andy Green (2023)
A’Sarah Green (2019)
Anthony Hale (2018)
Rizwanullah (Atif) Hamedi (2017)
Armando Haro (2023)
Chris Hernandez (2018)
Emma Hernandez (2016)
Emily T. Holland (2018)
Nicole Hooper (2016)
Lucas Horns (2021)
Ore Ishola (2023)
Susana Jerez (2019)
Munirih Jester (2016, 2018)
Sol Katia Jimenez (2015)
Cheryl L. Johnson (2020)
Jaleen Johnson (2023)
Jessica Jones (2017)
Evert Keller (2018)
Shenee King (2019)
Maria Lara (2023)
Aneta Lee (2017)
Aneta Thomas Lee (2015)
Stephanie De Leon (2020)
Jamie Littlefield (2016)
Daniel Lucio (2015)
Samuel Maldonado (2019)
Katherine Maloney (2021)
Jennifer McKague (2023)
Maddie McKinney (2019)
Lurleen McNair (2023)
Megan McNaughton (2020)
Cegee Moore (2018)
Teri Mumm (2021)
Krysti Nellermoe (2019)
Oleg Nepliouev, (2018)
Angela E O’Neil (2020)
Chantez Neymoss (2023)
Caché Owens (2016)
Wendy Pearson (2016)
Gabriela Beatriz Peden (2020)
Jessica Pedroza-Cruz (2023)
Dr. De’Andre S. Pickett (2015)
Naymar Prikhodko (2015)
Sara Rasmussen (2016)
Susan Reaves (2015, 2016)
Dan Reddi (2023)
Ricardo Reinoso (2021)
Ernesto Resto (2016)
Erika Garcia Reyes (2023)
Alonso Reyna Rivarola (2015)
Bianca Rozenblad (2018)
Stacy Rozier (2023)
Heather Salters (2018)
Leslie Scott (2015)
Margo Scurry (2016)
Wenwen Shi (2016)
Lindsey Sipe (2018)
Aleah Spencer (2021)
Elaine Stehel (2016)
Dustin Steinacker (2015)
Patricia Steward (2018)
Adam Strizich (2015, 2016)
Matthew Sucre (2021)
Felicia Tillman (2016)
Maithri Vangala (2015)
Brenda Montecinos Villa (2020)
Claire Warnick (2018)
Jessica Washington (2015)
Demetrius Williams (2018)
Erin Young (2020)
Emmanuel Zapata (2021)
Thank you to our generous partners, including a special thanks to our founding partner, Google Fiber.
You can advance digital literacy inclusion and champion these remarkable digital equity leaders. Partner with NTEN to bring the fellowship to your city or locations you choose across the U.S. and Canada. Or support the resources, content, and events that power the fellowship.