Student PIRGs Civic Leadership Training Program 

A Summer of Civic Leadership, Summer 2023

This summer we trained more than 100 students from around the country to make a positive impact in their communities. The Student PIRGs Civic Leadership Training program aimed to provide the skills, training, and hands on experience for students to make a difference on issues such as: increasing college affordability, promoting student voting, and protecting our country’s wildlife. 

Here are some of our highlights:

  • 111 students participated in the training program with 55 completing the full program and receiving the Civic Leadership Certificate. Students learned a wide range of organizing skills and put them to practice, including: working with the media, developing a strategic campaign, and recruiting volunteers.
  • Students completed more than 400 campaign actions from submitting letters to the editor to collecting faculty sign on; and from submitting public comments to holding lobby meetings with Congressmembers
  • We built strong coalitions with organizations on all of our campaigns from student governments to national non-profit organizations and from elected officials to campus administrators. We are thankful for all those who worked with us including:
    • Environment America
    • New Voters
    • OpenStax
    • Associated Students of University of California Berkeley
    • Associated Students of University of South Florida
    • United States Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois
    • United States Congressman Adam Smith of Washington
Campaign Highlight: Make Textbooks Affordable

Savannah Lebedeker, Sophomore at Florida State University, led our National Affordable Textbooks campaign. This summer she worked with OpenStax, the country’s largest online publisher of Open Education Resources to organize an educational panel to help connect faculty to OER resources that can help a student save hundreds of dollars each semester. 

The Affordable Textbooks campaign team also submitted public comments, faculty sign ons, and got their peers to sign petitions to support the Affordable College and Textbooks Act. Savannah regularly met with Senator Durbin’s office to determine the best strategy to gain support for the bill. 

Meet our Civic Leadership Fellows

The summer training program was led by our dedicated and passionate team of Civic Leadership Fellows. This team of students recruited the peers to participate in the training program, led campaign teams, and ran the trainings for over one hundred students. Congrats to David, Savannah, Olivia, Varunnika, and Sydney! Here are some of their stories 

PIRG Campus Action is a national training and advocacy program started by the Student PIRGs and is based on a model that has been helping students make positive change for almost 50 years. PIRG Campus Action student clubs work with professional staff at colleges and universities to make sure our peers have the skills, opportunities and training they need to create a better, more sustainable future for all of us. Our network on over 100 campuses provides the training, professional support and resources students need to tackle climate change, protect public health, revitalize our democracy, feed the hungry and more.