Have you ever wondered what happens behind the scenes in campaigns and social movements? Are you unsure how to make a difference on the issues you care about? Do you want to learn the skills to organize others from the top youth organizers in the country?

Organizer Leadership Training Program

Building on a successful track record of providing skills and training for thousands of students and organizers over the last 50 years, The Student PIRGs  and Green Corps are excited to launch the Summer 2024 Organizer Leadership Training Program. This training will provide students the training you need to run effective campaigns in your community. 

Over the last three summers, we have trained hundreds of students and made a real impact on issues to protect the environment, make college affordable, and help students participate in democracy. 

You will have the opportunity to learn from some of the top social change organizers with decades of experience in campaign work. Graduates of our program continue their organizing work into the school year with new leadership skills and professional connections with top-student leaders around the country. 

Students who complete the program will receive the Organizer Leadership Certificate and a campaign leadership badge for each completed project you work on. These include:

  • Environmental Conservation Leader Badge 
  • Climate Action Leader Badge
  • Youth Vote Leader Badge
  • Textbook Affordability Leader Badge

How it works

There are two components of the program:

  1. Learn the skills: Attend our Activist Classes and learn the skills to be an effective organizer from experienced change makers 
  2. Make an impact: Work on urgent campaigns with a team of students across the country and run a local project to make a difference in your community 

The program takes place over the course of a full month over the summer. We offer multiple opportunities to learn the skills in the form of a weekly Activist Class (two-times a week for 3 weeks) or an accelerated Activist Boot Camp (two full days). 

You will then work with an experienced organizer to develop a local plan to reach your goals for the campaign badge you are working towards. You can earn multiple badges over the course of the summer. 

There will be about 4 hours of activist class each week and an additional 4-6 hours of independent work to be completed and reported by Friday afternoons. Students should expect to have an 8-10 hours/week commitment.

Learn the Skills

Learn organizing and leadership skills from experienced organizers to help you effectively engage your community on the issues you care about. Here are some of the skills you will learn:

  • How to craft and deliver and campaign and personal story
  • Building a team of student volunteers and leaders
  • How to use peer-to-peer tactics to mobilize students (phonebanking, class announcements, and in person events)
  • Organizing strategic in person and online actions and events
  • Developing campaign coalitions
  • And more!

You will also have a chance to learn from leading experts in various issue fields to apply the latest insights and learning to your organizing work. 

Make an Impact on Issues

Students will join campaign teams of students to organize a campaign action in their community by the end of the program. You will work with experts in the campaign fields to create a plan to achieve the goals for your specific campaign. By completing the goals of the project, you will receive the campaign leadership badge. Our campaigns this summer include:


 

Save Our Wildlife Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, Save the Right Whales, Save Our Orcas – Wildlife is dying at unprecedented rates in what some are calling the 6th great extinction. We will tackle this with multiple regional campaigns this summer, building public support to protect critical ocean life in coastal states and while also protecting funding for state wildlife agencies across the country.

Goals: 

  1. Collect 200 petition signatures to support campaign.
  2. Host a training(s) with friends to submit 10 Letters to the Editor to local newspapers
  3. Host 1 campaign action/event

New Voters Project – Help register students to vote and increase student voting in this fall’s election on your campus. 

Goals: 

  1. Educate 250 students about voting using in person and online tactics
  2. Work with 5 student group leaders, professors, community leaders and others to help get students to turn out to vote this fall
  3. Plan 3 voter engagement events in the fall semester

Save Money, Save the EnvironmentThe Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) directed $369 billion to help Americans pay for energy saving purchases and clean energy projects. We’re working to fight cuts to these programs at the federal level and make sure our family members and broader communities know about the tax credits and discounts available to them.

Goals: 

  1. Educate 250 community members about ways cost-saving programs that help Save Money and Save the Environment
  2. Work with 3 community partners 
  3. Collect 50 petition signatures to support climate action

Affordable Textbooks – Save students thousands of dollars by advocating for more affordable textbook options.

Goals:

  1. Educate 100 faculty members about Open Education Resources
  2. Work with 5 media outlets to publicize our research reports
  3. Write and submit 3 Letters to the Editor

Training Calendar

Here is the schedule for the various training cycles this summer. We will run the same 3 week training multiple times over the course of the summer. We will also run a 2 day boot camp, an accelerated version of the program. 

 

Start Date

End Date

Duration

Organizer Leadership Training Cycle #1

5/1

5/24

3.5 weeks

Activist Training Boot Camp

5/28

5/29

2 days

Organizer Leadership Training Cycle #2

6/5

6/28

3.5 weeks

Organizer Leadership Training Cycle #3

7/10

7/31

3.5 weeks

Activist Training Boot Camp

7/20

7/21

2 days

Activist Training Boot Camp 

8/17

8/18

2 days

 

New Voters Project Trainings

In addition to our Organizer Leadership Training Program, we are excited to offer additional campaign trainings to run the New Voters Project, the country’s oldest student-led, non-partisan campaign to help students turn out to vote in this November’s election. 

We will hold monthly accelerated trainings to cover skills that will help you mobilize students on your campus to vote. Skills include:

  • How to use peer-to-peer tactics to mobilize students (phonebanking, class announcements, and in person events)
  • Non-partisanship and voter registration training 
  • Organizing strategic in person and online actions and events
  • Developing diverse vote coalitions
  • Working with your vote coalition to develop a Campus Action Plan
  • Training student vote coordinators and captains
  • Institutionalizing the vote – making voting a part of everyday campus life
  • Uplifting your campaign by working with the media
  • Grant writing and fundraising 

Training Calendar

NOTE: Content may vary based on training date

 

Day

Date

Time

New Voters Project Training #1

Tuesday

5/14

1 – 5pm ET

New Voters Project Training #2

Thursday 

6/13

12 – 4pm ET

New Voters Project Training #3

Tuesday

7/16

1 – 5pm ET

Program Highlights

In the Summer of 2023, 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. 

Graduates of our 2022 Civic Leadership Training Program were recognized as top leaders by the ALL IN Campus Campus Democracy Challenge 2023 Student Voting Honor Roll

Our New Voters Project Campaign received national recognition by the Students Learn Students Vote Coalition, an award winner in the Centering and Trusting Local Leaders category. Several of our Organizer Leadership Training Program graduates led this national campaign. 

 

Meet some of our graduates

Sydney Greenway, University of Pittsburgh

Sydney Greenway is a senior at the University of Pittsburgh studying Urban Planning. She joined the Student PIRGs her freshman year with the Break Free from Plastics campaign. Since then, she has participated in the New Voters Project, the Affordable Textbooks Campaign, and the Climate Action Campaign. Student PIRG trainings have empowered her to participate in two federal Student PIRGs Lobby Days, organize a state Lobby Day, interview with local and national media outlets, speak on a panel, meet with university administration, organize multiple teams of amazing students and more!


Quanzelle Austrie, University of South Florida 

Quanzelle was the Florida Campus Outreach Intern and New Voters Project Campaign Coordinator for University of South Florida. As a PIRG student leader, she worked with the Bulls Vote Coalition to help their campus earn an ALL IN Campus Democracy Goal Seal by achieving a student voting rate of 74.7%, an eleven percentage point increase from 2016. Quanzelle is working with vote coalition partners to help students from all four campuses at USF replicate her success and participate in the midterm election.


Andres Cubillos, Florida State University

Andres Cubillos graduated from Florida State University. Andres helped establish Florida PIRG Students at FSU’s first club in 2020 as the Campaign Coordinator for the New Voters Project Campaign and helped increase FSU precinct voter turnout by 13%. Andres now works as the external affairs and outreach chair focusing on club building and coalition development.


Marea Ayala, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Marea was a PIRG student leader in North Carolina at UNC – Charlotte and joined our team to work full-time organizing students in the state. Since graduating, Maria hit the ground running, working with a dozen college campuses in North Carolina to help them create and hone their campus civic engagement action plans leading up to the November elections.


Hanna Lesiak, Northwestern University

Hanna, a student and member of the women’s volleyball team at Northwestern University, worked with our national partners at All Vote No Play and Athletes Unlimited to organize a panel and training for student athletes to learn how to train their teams to become civically active this fall.


Hear from our graduates

About Us

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Students have the power to shape the future we will inherit. We 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 chapters and clubs on nearly 100 campuses in 25 states provide the training, professional support and resources students need to tackle climate change, protect public health, revitalize our democracy, feed the hungry and more. Students have been at the forefront of social change throughout history, from civil rights, to voting rights to protecting the environment. For nearly 50 years we’ve helped students to get organized, mobilized and energized so they can continue to be on the cutting edge of positive change.

https://studentpirgs.org/

The environment is the most important challenge the world faces today. There are plenty of ideas out there for solving environmental problems, from renewable energy to wilderness protection. There are not enough people out there, however, who can transform these ideas into reality. That’s what organizers do. We build people-powered organizations and run grassroots campaigns to change public policies and corporate practices. With Green Corps, you learn how to transform ideas into impact with a combination of classroom training and field experience on critical environmental campaigns. As the country’s most respected training program for environmental organizers, Green Corps has graduated 400 organizers to work on the most urgent environmental issues of our time.

https://greencorps.org/