Student Activist Training

5th Annual Student Activist Training California Common Cause is committed to training young leaders who will carry on the mission and vision of Common Cause. Our young activist program aims to provide young professionals and students the tools and resources to become better activists and advocates -- creating a foundation for young people to become lifelong, active participants in our democracy.

Annual Summer Student Activist Training 

Each summer, California Common Cause invests in bringing 30 undergrad students from across California to our free Student Activist Training over the summer. Our three-day training covers organizing and advocacy best practices, and how to run and win strategic campaigns. We also discuss practical solutions to improving our government and democracy, which include:

  • getting dark money out of politics,
  • increasing voter participation,
  • holding lawmakers accountable,
  • simplifying and modernizing the state initiative process,
  • and promoting impartial and accessible media to support a healthy democracy.

The training is free and open to all undergraduate students in California.

Click here to apply to this year's Student Activist Training at California State University, San Marcos.

Help us train the next generation of young leaders: Donate Today!

Throughout the Year

Our staff guides and elevates the work that young leaders are doing throughout the year:

  • We work with and support Common Cause campus groups.
  • We help host campus and community events and actions that bring attention to current campaigns and important legislation that impact young people.
  • We host one-day trainings in the fall and winter at campuses across the state.
  • We support and mentor students in their campus campaigns to improve democracy, from voter registration drives to passing resolutions to overturn Citizens United.
  • We host happy hours and networking mixers for young members to connect and learn about ways to get involved.


We host interns (open to undergrads, graduate students and recent graduates) throughout the academic year and in the summer. If you are interested in interning, please email Alvin Valverde, Operations Manager. You can also stay up to date on opportunities offered.

From Our Student Activists

Ravanna Cantrall"I went to this training as a student activist with a hope for the future, and I have furthered this hope in myself as I saw it reflected in the eyes of my peers and in their community activism. The tools and skills that I have received during this weekend of workshops are things that I will now use to implement change in my community and strengthen the ties between myself, my community and the quest for equality." - Ravanna Cantrall, Sophomore at Long Beach City College

Cameron Silverberg"For as long as I can remember, I have had a role model: my grandfather, Michael Silverberg. In 1965, Michael moved to Jackson, Mississippi, where he became active in the civil rights movement. He later fought for better health care for people suffering from mental illness, serving as the president of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill in New York. My grandfather’s story has offered a lesson that has stayed with me—that when I see injustice, I should become part of the solution. That is why I am an activist today. California Common Cause’s Student Activist Training gave me so much insight into being a better activist. The panels offered at the training taught me about how to lead a successful campaign, how to effectively use social media for advocacy, and how to attract receptive audiences for events. I will use what I learned from these panels in some of the projects I will be working on over the next year, such as running events that bring advocacy organizations together. I also know that I now have a group of energized activists that I can turn to for input and support as I work on these projects. That is an invaluable gift." - Cameron Silverberg, Senior at University of California, Berkeley 

Sandra Luo"I learned so much over the course of three eye-opening, inspiring days about the injustices and issues in our existing democracy, and I feel prepared to take a stand." - Sandra Luo, Freshman at University of California, San Diego 

Upcoming Events

8th Annual Student Activist Training: July 13th-15th at California State University, San Marcos

Getting Involved

  • Are you a current student? Contact Helen Grieco if you live in Northern or Central CA, and Sylvia Moore if you live in Southern CA. 
  • Are you a current member and are interested in volunteering? Contact Helen Grieco if you live in Northern or Central CA, and Sylvia Moore if you live in Southern CA.
  • Please also consider sponsoring a student to attend a future training.

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