The Sierra Fellows Program works to assist communities in identifying their needs, forming projects to address these issues, and creating advocates and strengthening the voices that speak on behalf of these special, but often neglected, rural areas.
What do we do?
The Sierra Fellows program places bachelor and advanced degree holding Fellows in rural mountain communities to assist them in addressing their most pressing needs. Fellows lend their energy and expertise for one to two years, working on community-driven projects that help build capacity, at no cash cost to the community.
Projects that help to build capacity are defined by the Fellow and host community, but can include aspects like rural healthcare, job training, education services or increasing sustainability. To learn more, read about Project Areas.
Where do we work?
Sierra Fellows are placed in host communities throughout the Sierra Nevada and Cascade mountain ranges. Based in Plumas County, our program creates a network of Fellows throughout the rural mountain areas of California and southern Oregon. Learn more about Where We Work and why.
Why do we do this work?
Rural mountain communities are situated in important ecological and economic areas, and are home to impassioned and hard-working people. At the same time they are often challenged by the socioeconomic status of their members and the significant decline in the natural resource sector that once defined their economies. Consequently, rural mountain communities statistically mimic impoverished urban areas, facing similar challenges but also issues unique to mountain living. However, much of the monetary and policy resources designated for disadvantaged communities do not consider or support those in rural mountain areas.
How can you help?
Are you a member of a community interested in building your capacity and hosting a Fellow? Contact our Sierra Fellows Coordinator to learn more.
Do you like the idea of assisting rural mountain communities in tackling their most challenging issues? Do you have education or experience that would help in this complex and rewarding task? Looking in to becoming a Fellow!
Do you like the work that we do and are interested in donating? Fellows are placed in rural areas free of charge to the community, and we only ask the host-site to provide housing during the Fellow’s term. Donating to our program ensures that we can continue to help communities without requiring a cash match! Donate now
Are you interesting in donating some of your time? Please check out Sierra Institute’s Volunteers page to find upcoming events where we could use your help!
For additional information regarding the Sierra Fellows Program or ways to get involved, please contact the Sierra Fellows Coordinator.