West Virginia Trainers Fellowship | Training For Change

West Virginia Trainers Fellowship

The West Virginia Trainers Project is excited to announce the open application period for the 2018 Trainers Fellowship! This fellowship is designed to cultivate the skills, power and confidence of West Virginia organizers for whom training, facilitation and leadership development is a key part of their community work.

 Applications for the current Fellowship have closed.

The West Virginia Trainers Fellowship is a chance for West Virginia Training for Trainers graduates to get on-the-ground support to maximize the power and know-how of our communities.

It’s a challenging time in West Virginia. The dignities of finding work, accessing basic health services, and affording safe water to drink are harder to come by. One in four children grows up in poverty in the state; we’re ranked 49th in unemployment. We regularly make lists of the worst public schools in the nation and youth flight is on the rise. Meanwhile, racial violence persists–in our justice system, in our schools, in our streets. And our state has become the epicenter of the national opioid epidemic, a crisis that ripples out into the fabric of our communities.

But if this time has shown us anything, it’s that it’s also a time for hope.

Grassroots organizing efforts are flourishing across the state as new leaders step into action. Long-needed experiments in community development are underway, creating senses of economic possibility where there were none. And strong coalitions are growing, leading critical fights for basic rights and fairness, building-up a new generation of young leaders, organizing working families around key safety-net issues, and spearheading campaigns for racial equity.

For organizers and community leaders–especially in these moments of challenge and possibility–the stakes can feel higher, the pace can feel faster. It’s times like this where it can be especially difficult for us to invest in our own growth–to invest in the skills and development we need to help our groups thrive.

That’s why The West Virginia Trainers Project is excited to accept applications for the 2018 West Virginia Trainers Fellowship!

The Fellowship Program Includes:


Personalized Coaching – Fellows will be paired with a coach throughout the year. This coach will work with that Fellow to develop their learning goals and a corresponding work plan for the program. The aim of these coaching sessions is to support Fellows to make progress on their goals each month. Coaching sessions might be used to work a training design, build strategies for a challenging group dynamic, or practice a particular facilitation skill.

Workshops – Fellows receive scholarships to all West Virginia Trainers Project workshops throughout the year. This includes one Advanced Trainers workshop out of state, two Design Labs and The West Virginia Training for Trainers.

Co-Facilitation – Fellows may request that a coach co-facilitate a workshop with them during the year. This is a chance for Fellows to receive in-the-room support, practice and feedback.

Fellows Meet-Ups – We’ll have three Fellows Meet-ups throughout the year amongst the Cohort. This will be a time for Fellows to share lessons, reflect on their work so far and do a deep dive on topics they’d like to investigate.

Writing – Each Fellow will be responsible for creating one handout during the year, though we welcome more! This handout could focus on a new facilitation tool they create, an insight on training they’re developing, a journal entry from the field. We encourage Fellows to get in the habit of getting their ideas, insights, and experiences out into the world. We also find that reflecting in real time can assist Fellows to deepen their own learning. And if Fellows are interested, we’ll work with them to publish what they’re creating. We know this could be a new practice for some, so we’ll provide some structure and support along the way.

Tools Databases – Fellows will have access to Training for Change’s tools database–and the opportunity to contribute to a growing bank of tools in West Virginia. Coaches will support Fellows to access these tools by providing links and handouts.

It’s What You Make It! – The aim of this program is to support Fellows in achieving their learning goals. If there are other ideas or suggestions Fellows have along the way, we’re open to them.

Who can apply?


This program is designed for West Virginia Training for Trainers graduates. Space is limited. Applicants must:

  • Have completed The West Virginia Training for Trainers (or Training for Social Action Trainers)
  • Have a clear sense of their goals for the Fellowship
  • Have a community organizing or social change context to practice and apply what they’re learning
  • Be able to make a one-year commitment to the program. This includes the ability to stay pro-active about their learning goals, attend gatherings and workshop, practice what they’re learning between sessions and initiate scheduling with their coach.


The Cost:


It is our priority to make this Fellowship financially accessible to all applicants while covering basic program costs. You can calculate your fellowship fee based on the sliding scale below. If you are being sponsored by an organization, please use your organization’s budget as substitution for “income.” We know income and life-demands vary widely. Please contact us if you are interested in the Fellowship and have concerns about your fee. Scholarships are available based on need.

$100 – (income under $15,000)
$150 – (income $15,001-$25,000)
$200 – (income $25,001-$35,000)
$250 – (income $35,001-$45,000)
$300 – (income $45,001-$55,000)
$400 – (income over $55,000)


Please contact Katey Lauer at wvtrainersproject@gmail.com or 304-546-8473 with any questions.

Special thanks to Nico Amador and The Judith C. Jones Fellowship for informing the design of this unique place-based program.