LA Financial Aid Completion Fellow (Russlynn Ali Summer Fellowship)

LA Financial Aid Completion Fellow 

Russlynn Ali Summer Fellowship 

Los Angeles, CA 


The Education Trust—West (ETW) seeks its 6th cohort of Russlynn Ali Summer Fellows for 2023. The goal of the Fellowship is to support people of color entering policy and advocacy leadership by laying the foundation for current and future policymakers, researchers, advocates, and educators to become lifelong leaders within California’s P-16 education ecosystem. Fellows will gain exposure to the issues, policies, and politics of the current California landscape through a cohort experience and will work on a project with an ETW team to advance educational equity and racial justice. 

ETW is comprised of fierce advocates for the high academic achievement of all students — pre-kindergarten through college, particularly those of color or living in poverty. Through research and advocacy, ETW’s goal is to close the gaps in opportunity and achievement that affect millions of young people across the U.S. — especially students of color and those from low-income families. We work alongside educators, policymakers, parents, and community and business leaders across the country to advocate transforming schools and colleges into institutions that serve all students well. Lessons learned in these efforts, together with unflinching data analyses, help shape our state and national policy agendas.   

 This role will be based in Los Angeles, CA. Fellows will be expected to travel to the Oakland office 1-2 times during the summer term.  

 This is a paid, full-time (37.5 hours/week) fellowship starting on June 20 and ending on August 15 for a term of 8 weeks.   



As the Los Angeles (LA) Financial Aid Completion Fellow, you will support ETW’s goal for Local Education Agencies (LEAs) to reach 80% financial aid application completion as they implement the universal financial aid completion policy. You will learn advocacy skills and be trained by ETW and California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) on Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and California Dream Act Application (CADAA) completion to support implementing the new LEA requirement to ensure all graduating high school students complete a FAFSA or CADAA. Additionally, you will learn facilitation and presentation skills on financial aid completion and best practices by co-leading financial aid presentations with ETW and LA-partner organizations. You will also gain coalition building skills by collaborating with educators, communities, students, advocates, and decision-makers in LA County to support financial aid completion. 

By the end of the 8 weeks, you will:  

  • Co-host at least 2 financial aid events/trainings with LA partners, allies, and advocates to support local advocacy around LEA implementation of the FAFSA/CADAA completion requirement in LA.
  • Develop contact information for LA college and career readiness champions to support ETW in producing ongoing outreach to LA LEAs with financial aid resources to improve financial aid completion for their low-income students and students of color. 
  • Create communication templates for LA LEAs that include tools, resources, and trainings to support local LA LEA implementation of the FAFSA/CADAA completion requirement. 

 Please note that ETW is currently in a strategic planning process. Team priorities might or might not change in the coming months.  



  • Shared belief in ETW’s mission and a commitment to improving educational equity 
  • Commitment to “Walking the Talk,” which means operating with an understanding that systemic and institutionalized racism significantly affect communities of color and the historical impact of privilege and power on American systems    
  • Relationship building skills 
  • Excellent critical thinking and problem-solving ability. Comes up with insightful, pragmatic, equitable, and sustainable ways to tackle common challenges and produce positive change.
  • Willingness to receive and act upon constructive feedback
  • Ability to organize, prioritize tasks, and meet deadlines 
  • Strong communication skills, with a focus on writing
  • Attention to detail and ability to multitask
  • Ability to take initiative and be self-directed
  • Nice to have but not required: general financial aid knowledge, including FAFSA and CADAA; knowledge on Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) and LA County 



The ideal candidate will possess the following qualifications and experience: 

  • General knowledge of education, education policy, or related field  
  • At least a high school diploma or GED, and enrolled in a higher education degree program 
  • Experience working alongside communities of color and/or socioeconomically disadvantaged communities   



The salary for this position is $26 per hour for 37.5 hours/week. All fellows receive sick leave. 



At The Education Trust, the health and safety of our employees is of the utmost importance. As such, all Education Trust employees are required to be fully vaccinated and remain up to date on their vaccinations for COVID-19. Any new interns should be fully vaccinated and up to date on their COVID-19 vaccinations prior to their first day of work. Requests for accommodation due to medical or religious reasons will be reviewed by Human Resources.  



Please provide a cover letter and resume, combined into one document. In the file name, please write the name of the position you are applying for and your last name: e.g., “LA Financial Aid Completion Fellow_Robinson.” 

We invite you to consider your cover letter as an opportunity to: 

  • Tell a story that illuminates your interest in education equity and Ed Trust–West’s mission 
  • Share how your background and experience make you the right fit for this position

Please submit your application materials at Recruitment ( by the deadline of April 5, 2023. Applications will be accepted/reviewed until the position is filled. Incomplete applications will not be accepted. 

The Education Trustis an equal opportunity employer and welcomes candidates from diverse backgrounds.