Great Lakes Photo

"ELP is this magical program that doesn’t expect you to be anything other than the best version of yourself - the curriculum, the balance with personal connection, with fun, and with teaching us how to practice peer-coaching." - 2020 Fellow

About the ELP Fellowship: 

Retreat #1: June 9-12, 2022 at *Maumee Bay in Oregon, OH 

Retreat #2: August 4-5 and August 12-13 (Virtual Format)

Retreat #3: October 6-9, 2022 at *Maumee Bay in Oregon, OH  

The 2022 Great Lakes Regional program will be offered in a virtual/hybrid format with the first and third retreats to be held in person at the beautiful *Maumee Bay Lodge & Conference Center in Oregon, OH (as conditions allow) and the second retreat offered virtually via a Zoom platform. 

*Please visit the Maumee Bay website to review their most up-to-date health guidelines for all visitors.

ELP Virtual Retreats bring together our focus on intentional relationship building, emergent design, fun, and inclusive spaces into remote gatherings through a wide range of techniques. These include virtual breakout room sessions, collaborative whiteboards, interactive surveys, and simulations to create a unique and immersive virtual experience. We also work to integrate non or low screen time through activities like individual reflection, “Phone a Fellow” sessions, and movement energizers. ELP also creates intentional spaces both during and between the retreats for informal interactions to help foster authentic relationships and group cohesion, such as morning "coffee" conversations, lunch and break sessions, evening game nights and happy hours.

"I was pleasantly surprised at how well the virtual format worked for something that is meant to be an intimate, vulnerable program where we open up about ourselves and our differences and weaknesses. It was obvious how hard the facilitators and senior fellows worked to make this experience everything it could be, and their hard work paid off immensely. I feel more connected now than I have ever since this quarantine began, and I can't begin to say how excited I am to continue to work with this amazing group of people."  ~2020 Fellow


The 2022 Great Lakes Regional Fellowship participation fee is $2,000*. Needs based scholarships are available and can be applied for in your application. In addition to our general scholarship pool, we are also offering special funds to support the participation of earlier career professionals who identify as Black, Indigenous, or People of Color. Please contact [email protected] for specific questions.

Fellows may also choose to pay their tuition in full at the time of being selected or through a payment schedule. To learn more about creative payment options click HERE. 

This includes:

  • Participation in 12 days of training, community building, and peer coaching;
  • Training materials (digital and hard copy);
  • A 360 degree leadership assessment; and
  • Membership in ELP's network of over 1400 Senior Fellows  - a lifelong learning community of professional and personal development, collaboration, and impact.

*We are able to offer a subsidized rate from the $3,500 full program cost thanks to the support of our foundation partners and local donors.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Applications are due by 11:59 pm (EST) Monday, March 21, 2022

Fellowship Timline

What do Fellows have to say about ELP?

"I don't think I've smiled and laughed this much on a zoom call since we've been sheltering in place. So excited to meet such an awesome group to build with!" 

"ELP was the most meaningful opportunity I have participated in many years. Although it proved significantly more challenging than I'd expected (I had no idea there was so much personal discovery involved in leadership development) it was proportionally more rewarding than I expected as well. ELP has not only provided me valuable professional development but also provided a forum for which to develop a deeper connection to peers in my community/region, something which I've been seeking for a long time."

"...2020 has really been a smack in the face, and I've been scared of a lot of things this year. Things in my personal life, in my professional life, and even in joining this cohort. But coming out of it, I'm not scared. I feel empowered, and self-aware, and confident in the knowledge that I have a network to fall back on whenever I need it."

"As a whole, this leadership training is different from others I’ve done because it embraces diversity in all its different forms (e.g., identity, learning styles, communication styles, life experience). Also, while the facilitators have specific lessons / learnings that they want to showcase, I appreciate that how we get there is shaped both by the facilitators and the fellows, so the process is inclusive. I like that this is one of the many ways the facilitators put theory into practice -- emergent design is a key theme in the training, and the specific activities that are used to get at different lessons can change depending on the composition, energy level, direct feedback, or other factors even within the same day. Incorporating play into work is also a key theme, and I like that many of the learnings are gained through a game or creative task..."

“Through ELP I have found a whole new supportive friend group. These folks are my family now. And we DID that, on Zoom” 

"ELP has been a constant in my life during the unpredictable twists and turns of 2020. The Fellowship Program kept me grounded and focused on my long-term goals in the midst of significant personal and professional changes, and it has helped me build relationships with brilliant, passionate people across the region."



We're glad you're thinking of applying to an ELP Fellowship and we've tried to make it as simple as possible for you. There are three pieces to the online application process:

1. Fill out the short application survey. This should require only 2-3 minutes to complete.

2.  Upload your resume. Once you have completed the application survey, you will be emailed a personalized link where you can upload your resume. Please attach your resume as a PDF or Word doc.

3. Short essay answers. Along with your resume, you will be prompted to attach a short response to the following questions: 

  1. "What is the most significant leadership challenge that you are personally facing, either current or something that you see on the horizon?" (500 words maximum)
  2. "How is your work in efforts to protect the Great Lakes and their connected waterways or help communities improve access to Great Lake amenities?" (250 maximum)


All applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Work or reside in the 8 Great Lakes states (IL, IN, OH, MI, MN, NY, PA, WI) and engage in efforts to protect the Great Lakes and their connected waterways or help communities improve access to Great Lakes amenities;
  • Have at least three years of work experience or are enrolled in graduate-level academic studies related to environmental or social change issues, broadly defined; and
  • The ability to participate in all 3 retreats, complete all assignments in a timely manner, and the desire to remain an active member of the ELP Senior Fellows Network after the conclusion of the Fellowship.

Applicants will be evaluated on the basis of their passion to respond to social and environmental challenges and leadership capacity (i.e willing and able to take “responsibility for helping people achieve shared purpose). 

Particular attention will be given to the applicant's accomplishments, background, and professional progress as shown in their resume and the clarity, breadth, and thoughtfulness of responses to the narrative questions in the application.

  • The nature of their work or area of expertise, including the applicant's accomplishments, background, and professional progress as shown in their resume and the clarity, breadth, and thoughtfulness of responses to the narrative questions in the application and in the interview;
  • Eagerness to connect with and learn from others; willingness to actively contribute to the program as well as take advantage of its benefits;
  • Commitment to the values of diversity, equity, and justice within the environmental and social change fields; commitment to working with diverse constituencies;
  • Awareness of the interdependence of environmental and social problems; ability to convey a coherent vision for environmental progress and interest in how their work fits in with the big picture; and their
  • Ability to clearly articulate how participating in this leadership program will further their personal and professional development.

Applications are reviewed by a selection team of ELP Senior Fellows (alumni of ELP fellowships) and staff.

  • Interviews: a subset of applicants are interviewed in the 10 days following the application deadline. Interviews are conducted over the phone and are approximately 25 minutes long. Interviews are also an opportunity for applicants to ask any questions about the program and the Senior Fellow community.
  • Selection process:  Our selection teams review the applicant's accomplishments, background, and professional progress as shown in their resume. We also focus on the clarity, breadth, and thoughtfulness of responses to the narrative question in the application and the phone interview. We aim to select the best cohort for each program - which means giving attention to the diversity and balance of the class - in terms of work (sector, issue), identities (gender, ethnicity, etc.) and personalities.
  • Notification: Following the selection of the class (usually 2 weeks following the application deadline), applicants are notified of their status via a phone call and/or email. An applicant is either invited into the program (in which case they are expected to confirm within 48 hours), wait-listed, or invited to apply for another program.

On the fence about applying? Check out 7 Reasons to Apply for an ELP Fellowship.

For more information about the Great Lakes Fellowship contact Lori Braunstein ([email protected]).