ELP Fellowships offer intensive leadership and skills training, time for personal and professional reflection, and the opportunity to learn and collaborate with regional and national networks. Through immersive retreats, emerging leaders hone their leadership styles, improve their strategy and organizational development skills, and strengthen their capacity to work with diverse constituencies. 

But if you don't want to take our word for it, you can check out these testimonials from recent program participants...

Delaware River Watershed Photo


  • Retreat 1:   February 10 & 17-19, 2022 (Virtual)
  • Retreat 2:   April 28-29 & May 6-7, 2022 (Virtual)
  • Retreat 3:   July 7-10, 2022 at *Pendle Hill, Wallingford, PA 

"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!" -2020 Fellow

Due to safety considerations related to COVID-19, the 2022 program will be offered virtually via a Zoom platform for the first two of three retreats. The final retreat will be held (as conditions allow) at the beautiful *Pendle Hill in Wallingford, PA. 

*ELP has adopted a COVID-19 policy requiring all staff, facilitators, and participants to be vaccinated unless a medical or religious exception is approved. We will also require you to provide proof of vaccination.

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


Though the original approximate cost of this program is $3,500, due to the generosity of the William Penn Foundation, this program will be free of charge. This program includes:

  • Participation in 12 days of virtual/hybrid training, community building, coaching, and peer coaching
  • Training materials (digital and hard copies)
  • “Welcome Boxes” filled with supplies, snacks, and other retreat essentials
  • A 360 degree leadership assessment
  • Membership in ELP's network of over 1400 Senior Fellows  - a lifelong learning community of professional and personal development, collaboration, and impact


Applications are due by 11:59 pm (EST) Monday, November 15, 2021. 

Fellowship Timline


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 that you can complete from the application page.

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

2.  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 answer. Along with your resume, you will be prompted to attach a short response to the following question: "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)

“ELP is the best kind of learning/growth experience. Self-focused and intentional about building skills and talents to become a better leader in whatever field you are in but done so in the company of an amazing group of inspirational fellows. The Cohort becomes the teacher, the lessons just ways to build synergy and understanding in a practical and deeply meaningful way. The ELP staff are the glue binding it all together and gently leading the way. In the end, we are better people, if not better leaders, and you realize that this is just the start of the ELP journey...” -2020 Fellow


Applicants for the Delaware River Regional Fellowship must meet the following criteria:

  • Have at least three years of work/field experience
  • Be a grantee of the William Penn Foundation (though we do have a few spots reserved for those who are not)
  • Work in one of the following 8 sub-watersheds of the Delaware River:  Poconos and Kittatinny, New Jersey Highlands, Upper Lehigh, Middle Schuylkill, Schuylkill Highlands, Brandywine and Christina Rivers, Upstream Suburban Philadelphia, Kirkwood-Cohansey Aquifer  
  • 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 year-long Fellowship


In addition to the above, applicants will be evaluated on the basis of their:

  • Passion to respond to social and environmental challenges
  • Leadership capacity (i.e have been willing and able to take “responsibility for helping people achieve shared purpose”)
  • The nature of their work or area of expertise. 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 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
  • 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.