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the Fall 2018 Application opens!

The Running Start/Walmart Star Fellowship is the
only fellowship on Capitol Hill for college aged women!

What’s the Running Start/Walmart Star Fellowship program?

StarFellowsGroundsFall2014Each spring and fall, seven Running Start/Walmart Star Fellows are selected through a highly competitive application process. Running Start is nonpartisan and looks for applicants from across the political spectrum for this program. Star Fellows intern for a female Member of Congress Monday through Thursday and each Friday are trained by political experts in Running Start’s office and then mentored by high level political mentors.  Star Fellows live together in a house on Capitol Hill, free of charge, and are provided with a $2,000 living stipend for the semester.

Since 2009, Running Start has been proud to place Star Fellows in the offices of more than 50 Members of Congress. Our 91st Star Fellow will complete the program in December 2016. *Note that the party distribution below does not reflect the balance of the program–some of these offices have hosted Star Fellows multiple times.

Past offices have included: 

Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-NH
Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson, R-TX
Rep. Karen Bass, D-CA
Rep. Judy Biggert, R-IL
Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-TN
Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, D-OR
Rep. Mary Bono Mack, R-CA
Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-WA
Rep. Judy Chu, D-CA
Rep. Yvette Clarke, D-NY
Rep. Susan Davis, D-CA
Rep. Suzan DelBene, D-WA
Rep. Donna Edwards, D-MD
Rep. Renee Ellmers, R-NC
Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, R-MO
Sen. Joni Ernst, R-IA
Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-CA
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-CA
Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-OH
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-HI
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-AZ
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-NY
Rep. Kay Granger, R-TX
Sen. Kay Hagan, D-NC
Rep. Janice Hahn, D-CA
Rep. Nan Hayworth, R-NY
Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, D-SD
Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-KS
Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, D-AZ
Rep. Brenda Lawrence, D-MI
Rep. Barbara Lee, D-CA
Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-NY
Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-MO
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-WA
Rep. Martha McSally, R-AZ
Rep. Grace Meng , D-NY
Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-MD
Sen. Patty Murray, D-WA
Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-CA
Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-ME
Rep. Laura Richardson, D-CA
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-FL
Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-CA
Rep. Terri Sewell, D-AL
Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-AZ
Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-ME
Rep. Jackie Speier, D-CA
Rep. Ann Wagner, R-MO
Rep. Mimi Walters, R-CA
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-FL
Rep. Maxine Waters, D-CA
Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-NJ
Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-FL

Thank you to the Walmart Foundation
for their continued support of the Star Fellowship program!

Star Fellowship Dates

Program Start Date End Date Applications Available

Spring 2018

n/a n/a

No Star Fellowship during Spring 2018.

All applicants who would have been eligible for Spring 2018 are eligible to apply for Fall 2018.

Fall 2018

September 2018 December 2018

Application available during Spring 2018.

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How to apply:

Applications Materials – Due April 1, 2017

1. Online Form
– Contact Info
– Party Affiliation
– Top 5 Offices: Tell us the top 5 women in Congress you’d like to work for. We make our best effort to place fellows with Members they admire while balancing our effort to place fellows in as many new-to-us offices as possible each semester.
– Short Essay Questions
– Bio
– Background Info

2. Photo & Resume.
– A link to submit these will be included at the end of form 1 and in an email confirmation after you submit form 1.

– During the fellowship, Star Fellows must be college-aged women who are juniors or seniors or who are within one year of graduating from undergrad. Running Start is nonpartisan and looks for applicants from across the political spectrum for this program.

Final Decisions & Notifications: April 30, 2017


Star Fellowship Highlights

Internship with Female Member of Congress

We place our Star Fellows in the offices of female Representatives and Senators so they can learn from successful women firsthand. Each young woman will intern Monday through Thursday full-time in the office where she is placed. (Specific times will be designated by the Intern Coordinator in each office). We ask fellows to tell us the top 5 women in Congress they’d like to work for. We make our best effort to place fellows with Members they admire while balancing our effort to place fellows in as many new-to-us offices as possible each semester.

Free Housing on Capitol Hill

Star Fellows will be provided with free housing on Capitol Hill with close proximity to the Metro for easy transportation to Friday Seminars and the rest of the greater Washington, DC area.

Generous Living Stipend

Star Fellows will be given a $2,000 stipend for living expenses during the semester.

Friday Seminars

Star Fellows will attend Friday Seminars where they will be given a deeper knowledge of politics and the opportunity to learn about how politics really works from top people in the field. Seminar topics include: History of American Women in Politics, Campaign Fundamentals, International Women in Politics, Political Advocacy, Social Activism, Media Training, Fundraising Fundamentals, Public Speaking. Lunch will be provided each Friday.

Mentor Coffees

Star Fellows will be mentored each Friday afternoon by high level political mentors, who can help the Star Fellows navigate Washington, DC and aid them in their search to find a full-time paid position after the Star Fellowship.

Interview & Presentation

Star Fellows will learn not only how Capitol Hill works, but also why and how the Member of Congress they work for ran for elected office. Each Star Fellow will be required to interview the Member they work for and present to the other fellows and Running Start staff on what they learn.



Running Start is looking for Star Fellowship candidates from across the political spectrum who are deeply motivated college aged women.  Applicants must be college juniors or seniors or have graduated from college within a year of the Star Fellowship start date.  Women who have already started graduate school an ineligible to apply. Running Start looks for Star Fellow applicants who have proven that they are motivated in the classroom and involved in extracurricular activities. Priority will be given to women who can demonstrate their involvement with their community and their school. Applicants who have held leadership positions or who are interested in running for elected office should mention this in their application.


College Credit

Running Start cannot guarantee that Star Fellows will receive school credit for their fellowship. Star Fellows who are interested in receiving college credit should be in contact with their university career center and an academic advisor.