NC Summer Policy Institute

Summer Policy Institute aims to support North Carolina’s next generation of public policy leaders by bringing together young adults, who are rooted in the state, to participate in a multi-day exploration of top policy issues.

Through networking and learning with their peers, local policy experts, and state officials, we aim for NCSPI to be an opportunity for young people to chart a pathway that deepens engagement and leadership with the policy and systemic change work needed to advance well-being in North Carolina.

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Learn more about the Summer Policy Institute and what the experience is like.

Learn more about what the Summer Policy Institute experience is like.

Click here to be notified for the 2025 Summer Policy Institute application!


L. Wesley, SPI 2017

“This was an excellent experience. I learned a great deal from the attendees, as well as the staff and speakers. My knowledge base about policy was expanded, as well as a renewed fervor to see social change. I am better for having attended NCSPI. I am grateful to have been a part of such a great assortment of people.”

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A. Janz, SPI 2019

“I loved SPI! Honestly, I cannot recall ever having learned as much in four days as I did during SPI! I think that SPI helped me gain a much stronger feel for what full-time policy and advocacy work looks like, particularly at the state level, and I hope to draw on this understanding as I begin to consider how I can best promote just policies during my career and in the future.”

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K. Marroquin, SPI 2022 & current BTC Communications Coordinator

"I enjoyed connecting with folks from all over NC at the orientation, and learn more from the leaders invited during the breakout sessions. It was great to get that one-on-one time to talk to these incredible leaders and learn more about the budget process and policy making in NC."

Brian Kennedy II and Chane Wilson were the founders of the NC Summer Policy Institute.
Brian Kennedy II and Chane Wilson were the founders of the NC Summer Policy Institute.


The NC Summer Policy Institute (NCSPI) was created in 2017 by Brian Kennedy II and Chanae Wilson. NCSPI is a concept reworked from Oklahoma’s Summer Policy Institute model.

Since the program’s implementation, our event has served as an opportunity for students to broaden their understanding of the tools and tactics needed to contribute to the policy process, as well as gain access to graduate programs, fellowship opportunities, and greater connections with leaders across the state.

  • 73: Number of young people who have gone through the SPI program as of 2023
  • 22: Number of NC colleges and universities SPI participants have come from, including two women’s colleges and four historically Black institutions.
  • 107: Number of leaders engaged with SPI from different sectors across the state, including public sectors, nonprofits, and business owners in NC.

About Summer Policy Institute

The NC Summer Policy Institute is a four-day program for students in undergraduate programs, recent graduates, or other young people ages 18-25 who are interested in getting involved and learning more about public policy in North Carolina.

During the event, participants will:

  1. Learn how to analyze data to find policy solutions through the group policy projects.
  2. Gain a better understanding of public policy in our state through current and historical examples.
  3. Learn how to engage in advancing systems or policy change in our state.
  4. Connect with key leaders and organizations through networking opportunities.
  5. Become a part of a network of young movement makers who are dedicated to seeing NC thrive!

We aim to create a warm, inviting, and intentional space for attendees to connect and learn together! There is a lot happening during SPI week, but the most important part of this experience is creating a space safe for you to explore and learn. That means creating space to get your input, reflecting, and adjusting to make sure everyone can be present!

New in 2024

For the first time in 2024, we are working to provide mini-grants to students who want to continue their work after the Summer Policy Institute on their policy project, in collaboration with the community leaders or organization that identified the topic. These mini-grants aim to support their time on additional research, community engagement, and in refining the policy idea.

Mini-grants will be available as funding allows through a competitive process open to those in the Summer Policy Institute 2024 cohort only.

Frequently Asked Questions


The NC Summer Policy Institute will take place in Raleigh, NC from Friday, August 2nd to Sunday, August 5th, 2024.

All four days of the NC Summer Policy Institute (NCSPI) are packed with activities, panels, and workshops for participants. Accepted participants will receive a detailed agenda as we draw closer to the event.

Everyone who attends NCSPI is provided lodging, food, and travel stipends for transportation to and from the event!


Young adults ages 18-25 in North Carolina who are interested in building their leadership skills and knowledge in public policy are encouraged to apply! Eligible applicants include students in undergraduate programs, recent graduates who are not enrolled in graduate programs, and other young adults working in North Carolina.

You do NOT need to be enrolled in college or university to be eligible for our program.

More Questions?

Email us your questions and concerns at [email protected]