2021 Curtis Fellows

The 2021 application has closed.
Applicants will be updated on their status by mid May.

What is the Curtis Fellowship?

The 2021 Curtis Fellowship is an annual leadership development program to support youth ages 17-20 from underserved communities in the U.S. who embody the values of global citizenship.

To qualify, applicants must be between ages 17-20 (by time of application), a U.S. Citizen, have limited past travel experiences, and a family household income of under $90,000 USD. Those from minority and underrepresented communities are strongly encouraged to apply.

Curtis Fellows will further develop their professional and personal development through an innovative and engaging curriculum. After completion of the fellowship, fellows will be rewarded a $10,000 scholarship to be used towards educational expenses. 

Supported by members of the Global Citizen staff, the Curtis Fellows will explore social issues and innovative international organizations with a focus on poverty alleviation in Global Citizen's issue areas.

Our mission is to equip students between the ages of 17-20 years old with the tools to become changemakers and ethical leaders through collective and engaged experiences.

Application Requirements

Applicants will submit a 2-3 minute video to the question in the application.

  • Applicants must also respond to three short answer questions, up to 250 words each.
  • Applicants must submit a recommendation letter from a teacher/professor, school administrator, community leader, or colleague to be considered for the Curtis Fellowship.
  • Guidelines for Recommendation letter
  • Applications close Monday, April 5, 2021 11:59 PM EDT. 

Program Highlights

  • $10,000 Scholarships to be used towards educational expenses
  • Innovative & Engaging curriculum from June-September focused on personal and professional development 
  • All Expenses paid learning trip to New York City in late September exploring cultural institutions, meeting with industry leaders, and more (if travel permits)
  • Innovative & Engaging curriculum focused on personal and professional development 
  • Speaker Series with various industry leaders
  • Networking Opportunities & Internship Opportunities
  • Access to a growing Alumni Network & many more opportunities 

Eligibility Criteria

  • Ages 17-20 (by time of application)
  • A legal resident in the United States
  • Limited travel experience
  • Family household income of under $90,000 USD
  • Those from minority and underrepresented communities are strongly encouraged to apply.



The Curtis Fellowship, conceived and funded by Global Citizen Ambassador and former long-time Pearl Jam manager Kelly Curtis through the Vitalogy Foundation, is an annual award to mentor and support Curtis Fellows. The Curtis Fellowship seeks to create, support, and equip a network of youth advocates and community leaders committed to local and global response on issues surrounding extreme poverty.


What is Global Citizen?

Global Citizen is a community of people like you. People who want to take action to end extreme poverty.

At Global Citizen we encourage people to learn and take action on our platform; those actions apply pressure on world leaders to make commitments around the issues associated with extreme poverty: gender equality, food security, education, the environment, global health, citizenship, and sanitation. 

When does the application open? When does it close?

The application opens for submission on February 18, 2021 at 9:00 AM EDT and closes on Monday, April 5, 2021 at 11:59 PM EDT.

When will I find out if I’ve been accepted? 

You will be notified of your application status around Friday, May 7, 2021. 

What are the eligibility requirements for the Curtis Fellowship? Do I need specific academic requirements to be eligible? 

No, there are no academic requirements to be eligible for the Curtis Fellowship. 
Eligibility requirements are: 

  • Ages 17-20 (by time of application)
  • A legal resident in the United States
  • Limited past overseas travel
  • Family household income of under $90,000 USD
  • Those from minority and underrepresented communities are strongly encouraged to apply.

Do you accept people who are not U.S. citizens?

Yes! We accept youth ages 17-20 years old that are legal residents in the United States. 

 Who should write a letter of recommendation?

The letter of recommendation should come from someone who can speak about your motivation, ability to work in a team and potential to be an agent of change. Preferred letters will be from a teacher/professor, school administrator, community leader, or colleague. Guidelines for Recommendation letter.

How does my recommender submit their letter of recommendation?

Recommenders will receive a unique email link to upload their letter once applicants have submitted their final application via the platform. We suggest that recommendation letters be written in advance of receiving the unique email link to ensure that all application pieces are received by the deadline of April 5th, 2021. 

What if I turn 21 years two days before the application deadline?

If this is true for you, unfortunately, you would not be eligible. All applicants must be 17-20 years on the application deadline which is April 5th, 2021. 

How can I upload videos for the application essay questions?

Only video URLs will be accepted. We suggest you upload your video to Youtube first. You can find instructions on how to upload a video to Youtube here.  Once your video(s) are uploaded to Youtube, you’ll copy and paste the URL into your application. 

If am I not accepted, can I get feedback on my application?

Due to the high volume of applicants, we are not able to respond to questions about specific application feedback. We encourage all applicants to re-apply if not selected.

How many scholars are participating in this program?

There will be between 6-8 Fellows. 

What should I expect to do as a participant in the Curtis Fellows Program? What can I expect to do on the trips?

Global Citizen will support the scholars in professional and personal development through a deeper understanding of complex social issues and prepare the Curtis Fellows to become advocates of social change.

Fellows will be expected to spend about 2 hours per week engaging in group and individual activities that focus on professional development, personal growth, advocacy, cultural exposure, social justice and equity. This will include group discussions and working to apply skills in local communities. After completion, you will be awarded a $10,000 scholarship to be used towards educational expenses, earn letters of recommendation, receive guidance on future endeavors and stay connected with other Curtis Fellow alumni.

Who makes the Curtis Scholarship possible?​

The 2021 Curtis Fellowship was generously supported by Kelly Curtis, Vitalogy Foundation and Live Nation.

Where can I ask questions not covered here?​

If you have any questions that are not answered on the award’s information page or in these FAQs, please email kellycurtisfellowship@globalpovertyproject.com. Regretfully we will only be able to respond to questions not answered here.

For all questions please read our FAQs above or e-mail kellycurtisfellowship@globalcitizen.org

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