The Aspen Institute Franklin Project Ambassadors Program

The Franklin ProjectThe Franklin Project envisions a future in which a year of full-time national service is a cultural expectation, common opportunity, and civic rite of passage for every young American.

Each person could fulfill his or her national service by joining the military, participating in public service, or by completing a full-time civilian service year through programs such as AmeriCorps, Teach for America, the Peace Corps, or any eligible nonprofit. A modest living allowance would be provided for the service year, which would be completed at some point between the ages of 18-28. We believe that this big idea has the power to solve pressing social challenges, unite diverse Americans in common purpose, and cultivate the next generation of leaders.


In 2016, the Franklin Project and its partners will be collaborating on a Service Year Campaign to inspire Americans from across the country to get behind the big idea of a service year as a rite of passage. The Presidential election season offers a chance to get this big idea into the national narrative. We’ll be able to seize on that momentum by releasing the Service Year exchange, a technology platform that unites young people who want to serve, organizations who can host them, and funders who can support them. For the first time, every American will have an actionable way to embrace this big idea.


The Franklin Project Ambassadors Program will recruit up to 50 emerging leaders from 20-35 communities across the country. After coming together as a class for a seminar and training in June 2015, the Ambassadors will return to their communities empowered to expand service year opportunities and inspire others around the big idea. In addition to being a part of a great class of leaders, each Ambassador will host an event in his or her community in the first half of 2016 as part of the broader 2016 Service Year Campaign. Click here for more info.


The Franklin Project Ambassadors Program has three goals:

INSPIRE the expansion of service year opportunities in up to 35 communities across the country.

DEVELOP  up to 50 young leaders who are committed to making national service this generation’s lasting legacy. 

CONVENE events in up to 35 communities, aligned with the 2016 Presidential primary calendar.



PARTNER WITH US – We’ll need community foundations, corporations, nonprofit networks, universities, and other stakeholders to help us host events and expand service across the country.

SPONSOR THE PROGRAM – Donate to the Franklin Project or take a look at our sponsorship information at

BECOME A LOCAL ADVISER – If you’re outside of our target age range, or can’t commit enough time to become an Ambassador, volunteer to help your local Ambassador make the connections he or she will need to expand service in your community.


We are looking for driven and involved community members ages 28-45 to apply to be Franklin Project Ambassadors.

Those with a background in service (such as AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, the military, public service, or a non-profit service provider) are encouraged to apply, as are people who have affiliations with community institutions.

The Franklin Project will provide a three-day workshop and training between June 21-24, 2015 (plus travel and accommodations) to all participants, including an Aspen Institute values-based leadership seminar and training, an in-depth briefing on the state of national service in America, and media training and skills-building.

Furthermore, the program will include:

■■ Cultivated, ongoing leadership development through exposure to the Franklin Project’s network via video meetings, phone calls, and email digests;

■■ Engagement with members of the Franklin Project Leadership Council;

■■ Opportunities to place written pieces in select media;

■■ Support in executing a local event, including working with a Franklin Project Leadership Council member who will speak at the event;

■■ Regular engagement with program mentors; and
■■ A capstone seminar in summer 2016 to reflect and engage together as a network, and opportunity to design the Franklin Project’s future local engagement. Although we are targeting recruitment in the listed metro areas, applications from all locations are welcome.


■■ FEBRUARY-MARCH 2015 Recruit Ambassadors through application process

■■ MARCH 23, 2015 Applications due

■■ APRIL 15, 2015 Ambassadors confirmed

■■ JUNE 21-24, 2015 Initial seminar and training in Washington, DC area

■■ JUNE-DECEMBER 2015 Develop local partnerships and plan convening

■■ JANUARY 2016 Service Year Campaign launch

■■ JANUARY-APRIL 2016 Local Campaign events

■■ SUMMER 2016 Capstone event

Please visit to apply for the Franklin Project Ambassadors program.

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