TOLA begins on Monday, July 17, 2017

Application Deadline – Sunday May 21, 2017 by midnight

Who should apply?

Anyone committed to learning the skills necessary in making a difference in their communities, regardless of documentation status, who are between the ages of 22 and 35. We do not accept individuals who are part-time students or have other part-time commitments.

How do I apply to be a TOLA Fellow?

First, please provide the following contact information, along with a current resume.

  • Name
  • Phone
  • Email Address
  • Current Mailing Address

Secondly, please answer the questions below.

  1. How did you hear about TOLA? (100 words)
  2. What matters most to you and why? (500 words)
  3. Why TOLA? (500 words)

Finally, please provide two letters of recommendation from professionals who are familiar with your work. Please ask these individuals to email their letters to Christian Garcia at or mail it to: 191 Ridgeway Ave., Oakland, CA 94611 (Attention Christian Garcia: TOLA – Letter of Recommendation).

Is there a deadline to apply?

Applications, resumes, and letters of recommendation will be accepted as they are received. All applications, resumes, and letters of recommendation must be received no later than Sunday, May 21, 2017 by midnight.

Where should my application, resume, and letters of recommendation be sent?

Please send them via email to: — or mail to: 191 Ridgeway Ave., Oakland, CA 94611 (Attention: Christian Garcia – TOLA). 

Is there a scholarship/living stipend?

Yes. TOLA provides a living stipend to all Fellows during the program of $10,000 ($2,500 per month) for the duration of the Fellowship.

What is the time commitment?

Each TOLA Fellow commits to a full-time organizer’s schedule (up to six-days a week) for four months, from mid-July to mid-November.

What will I learn during the fellowship?

The TOLA curriculum is drawn from the teachings of Fred Ross Sr. and the lessons and experiences of people who organized in the Community Service Organization (CSO), the United Farm Workers (UFW), civil rights campaigns, and political campaigns.

TOLA Fellows will gain an appreciation of the history of community organizing as well as understand their own motivations for doing this work. As they progress through this four-month academy, they will develop the fundamental skills necessary to become effective organizers including the use of a personal narrative to inspire others; an ability to listen and communicate persuasively; an ability to set goals and organize volunteers into action; and an ability to recruit and train volunteers in community outreach, door-to-door work, phone banking, and get-out-the-vote efforts.

What are the qualifications of a TOLA Fellow?

  • Associate or baccalaureate degree.  May be substituted with relevant life experience.
  • Interested in making a difference in education, accessibility to healthcare, economic and transit development, and increasing civic participation.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Strong presentation, teaching, and writing skills.
  • Keen analytical skills.
  • A desire to learn.
  • Ability to work with diverse racial/ethnic communities.
  • Bilingual fluency in Spanish/Mandarin/Cantonese is a plus.
  • A reliable source of transportation (eg., car)