What We Do

Community Leaders Fellowship

The Community Leaders Fellowship builds bridges between local governments eager to create more vibrant, accessible communities and community members who have the lived experience to guide inclusivity initiatives for all ages and abilities.

The Connecticut Age Well Collaborative launched the Community Leaders Fellowship in 2023, recruiting a group of residents from across Connecticut to bring community authority to our own work. A subset of that first cohort continues to inform and guide our efforts as members of our Steering Committee.

In 2024, we’re expanding the program and bringing it to communities — inviting interested Connecticut municipalities to gain connection to residents with invaluable lived experience who, with support from the Collaborative, can partner with their municipalities to co-create solutions to key community challenges.

How It Works


Local government decides to bring the Fellowship to their town. Working with the Collaborative, the municipality identifies a project that will increase inclusion and benefit from lived experience of ageism and ableism.


Together, we recruit community members with lived experience who have previously been excluded from decision making — older adults, people with disabilities, people with dementia, and care partners. Up to ten Fellows are selected to participate.


The Fellows attend a multi-day workshop to build community, deepen their existing strengths, and learn new skills to undertake their project. Municipal leaders attend a portion of the workshop to learn with and from the Fellows.


Fellows collaborate with municipal leadership on the project, supported by coaching from the Collaborative. Fellows are compensated $25/hour for their work, funded by the Collaborative.


By working together, the municipality and the Fellows achieve tangible, co-created progress toward a more age- and disability-inclusive community. Changes are grounded in community authority and lived experience.

Program Benefits


Download the Brochure

Find out more about how the Community Leaders Fellowship can help your municipality weave lived experience into the fabric of local government.

A preview of the cover and an inner spread of the Community Leaders Fellowship brochure

Apply to Participate

For Municipalities

Municipal applications for the 2024 Community Leaders Fellowship are open and will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

To preview a PDF of the application, click here.

For Fellows

Stay tuned — the 2024 application for Fellows will launch later this year.

Sign up for our e-news to stay informed.

More to Explore

The 2023 Fellowship

Learn more about the 2023 Community Leaders Fellowship by streaming our Age Well Academy webinar, Honoring Lived Experience and Creating Community Authority, which tells the story of our first cohort of Fellows.

A laptop showing the title slide of the webinar "Honoring Lived Experience and Creating Community Authority"

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