Internship of the Month - Walton-UNCF K-12 Education Fellows Program

The program selects undergraduate juniors from select historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) to participate in a leadership development and paid intern placement program that partners with innovative K-12 educational reform enterprises.

The Walton-UNCF K-12 Education Fellowship is a leadership and talent development initiative aimed at building a robust pipeline of high-achieving African Americans engaged in education reform in America. The program selects undergraduate juniors from select historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) to participate in a leadership development and paid intern placement program that partners with innovative K-12 educational reform enterprises.

UNCF will cover summer housing and travel. Summer travel includes travel to the Student Leadership Conference, host city, closing conference and return to the home city.

Program Components

Summer Internship – One of the principal elements of the paid summer internship program that exposes Fellows to professional careers at leading K-12 education organizations and schools focused on education. Specifically, Fellows are deployed as interns to organizations and schools located in such cities as the District of Columbia, New York, Boston, New Orleans, Atlanta, Indianapolis, Chicago, Memphis and Nashville. Examples of internship host organizations included: Teach for America, Achievement First, Paul Public Charter School, BUILD, Black Alliance for Educational Options, Thomas B. Fordham Research Institute, and Stand for Children. During their internships, Fellows apply what they have learned, acquire new skills, gain an understanding of the professional needs of education organizations and make meaningful contributions. 

Student Leadership Conference (SLC) - Students selected for the Fellowship will be required to participate in a 4-day professional development student leadership conference prior to the start of their internship. SLC aims to provide a framework and forum for equipping students with the skill sets that they will need to be successful interns and early career professionals. Participants  will gain enhanced critical thinking skills; stronger project management abilities; improved verbal and written communication; sharpened workplace productivity; quality workplace readiness and etiquette; greater understanding of their leadership style; and improved networking skills. 

Education Case Competition – This case competition is a required component designed to strengthen Fellows’ critical thinking, problem solving, and teamwork skills. Fellows are placed into teams to develop a solution to address a specific K-12 education issue in an assigned city, state or local school community. Teams will incorporate their knowledge of the current landscape for education, the content on education presented at the Student Leadership Conference, and their individual assessment of the resources and policies needed to improve education. The Education Case Competition serves to foster innovation, collaboration, and creativity amongst Fellows. 

Career Coaching - To further the intern’s professional development during their internship experience, career coaching has become a vital component for robust professional development.  Interns are assigned a professional coach whom they meet in-person during the Student Leadership Conference (if appropriate) and continue to work with virtually over the course of their summer internship experience.  Interns engage in four curricula units that prepare them for a successful internship and subsequent employment experience. Interns are monitored by their assigned coaches and program staff on their progress and given constructive feedback throughout the internship. 

Alumni and Networking Opportunities – This Fellowship program aims to support alumni even after they have completed their undergraduate degree with the goal of (1) assisting alumni in securing entry-level career positions in education organizations and (2) cultivating alumni exposure to networking opportunities with education leaders.  Alumni will be offered select opportunities to participate in national conferences sponsored by leading education organizations, as well as local events, where they can share their experience with the community and inspire future Walton-UNCF Fellows. 

Eligibility Criteria

  • Open to African American juniors enrolled in an HBCU, who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents
  • Students must have a minimum GPA of 3.0
  • All majors are welcome
  • Willingness to relocate for the summer
  • Have demonstrated leadership experience within college campus and/or community
  • One recommendation from a school administrator or faculty member 


Application Close Date 

January 8, 2018; 11:59 PM EST 

Click here for details and to apply.

For additional information, please email