Fellowship Program

ReflectUS "It Begins Here" Fellowship

The Fellowship program, powered by the ReflectUS Coalition members, is geared towards women from working-class backgrounds in Texas. 

The Fellowship is a year-long program designed to engage civically-minded women towards political leadership. The 12-women cohort will participate in workshops, capacity-building training, discussions, and networking opportunities led by ReflectUS Coalition members, national partners and local experts.

Inaugural 2021-2022 "It Begins Here" Fellows

Zena Amran

Dallas, TX

Nelly Cuenca

Dallas, TX

Jessica Dunn

Savannah, TX

Sarah Evans

Dallas, TX

Prisma Garcia

Dallas, TX

Ara Grimaldo

Desoto, TX

Miriam Laeky

Waco, TX

Karem Montemayor

Dallas, TX

Lauren Rangel

Austin, TX

Mya Scott

Rowlett, TX

Shelby Taylor

Rosenberg, TX

Fiama Villagrana-Ocasio

Houston, TX

About the "It Begins Here" Fellowship Program

The “It Begins Here” Fellowship is designed specifically for women the to engage and inform women in Texas by women in Texas and will help excel women into greater political leadership opportunities.

Ruth Assi, ReflectUS Texas Program Manager

Unique Position

ReflectUS Texas is in the unique position to bring together national thought-leaders, experts, elected officials, and advocates in the Texas women’s representation movement towards building greater representation in political leadership.

Year-Long Program

Over the course of 12 months, women from Texas communities will participate in workshops, capacity building trainings, discussions, and networking opportunities aimed at guiding and supporting them as they begin or further their path towards political leadership.

National Network of Partners

Workshops will be powered by ReflectUS Coalition members, as well as national partners and local experts on topics ranging from fundraising and financing campaigns, public speaking and storytelling, selecting campaign staff, and managing personal finances.

Work Hard to Succeed

The goal is to support women in Texas to run and win positions of political leadership in order to have a more reflective government.


ReflectUS Coalition Members

Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS)

Empowered Women

Higher Heights of America

IGNITE National

Women's Public Leadership Network (WPLN)



She Should Run

Vote Run Lead



Application deadline for the “It Begins Here” Fellowship program is now closed.

ReflectUS will contact 2021/2022 applicants by February 2021 to let them know whether they have been selected as a finalist. All finalists will then be interviewed by the ReflectUS Admissions Committee before March 2021. The Selection Committee will announce decisions by email in early March at the latest.

The selection process involves two phases. During the first phase, a panel of ReflectUS staff and Board members reads all of the applications and selects a pool of finalists for further review by the ReflectUS Selection Committee. During the second phase, the Admissions Committee reads and evaluates all finalist applications and conducts interviews with finalists. The final selections are made based on this second reading and the interview.

ReflectUS is a non-partisan, non-political entity. The Fellowship is not affiliated with any political party or entity. As such, we’re looking for Fellows who bring a diverse set of political opinions and perspectives to the program.

  • All applicants must be at least 18 years of age at time of application submission.
  • Eligible to work in the U.S.
  • All applicants must reside in Texas.
  • Fellows are encouraged to be eligible to seek appointed/elected leadership roles in their communities.
  • Fellows are expected to be an active Fellow for a period of one year, from MARCH 2021 through MARCH 2022.
  • Fellows will collaborate with the Texas Program Manager to create your personalized strategic plan to begin your leadership journey.
  • Fellows are expected to participate in the mandatory twice a month webinars (or in-person meetings) and other training opportunities hosted by ReflectUS.
  • Use of cameras during webinar meetings is highly encouraged, as our goal is to get to know each other, and minimize virtual distance!
  • More than 3 absences will be a reason for us to re-evaluate your fellowship commitment and we will have the right to remove you from the program.

The dates for the 2021/2022 “It Begins Here” Fellowship programs are: March 2021 – February 2022.

  • Participation in the 12-month remote program
  • Ongoing skill-building and training opportunities
  • Guidance in developing and executing an individual pipeline blueprint
  • Upon completion of the Fellowship, participation in a national network of leaders poised to contribute to parity in politics and exposure to opportunities provided by ReflectUS Coalition Member’s programming.

It’s important to us that applicants with disabilities can fully participate in our process. The Fellowship program will provide reasonable accommodations deemed necessary for qualified applicants and Fellows to participate in the selection process and in the Fellowship. If you are a qualified applicant and require a reasonable accommodation to complete the application, please contact our team here.

"It Begins Here" Fellowship Application Is Now Closed

Thank you to all that have applied.

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