WASHINGTON, DC – Future Caucus announced Wednesday that State Senator Cristina Castro was selected to be a member of the inaugural class of Innovation Fellows, taking part in the nationwide fellowship for Gen Z and millennial state legislators.

“Bringing together the next generation of leaders to learn from each other, develop effective governing skills, advance legislation and overcome partisan divisions is what strengthening our democracy is about,” said Castro (D-Elgin). “I’m excited to get to work solving some of the most pressing issues of our time with a diverse cohort of legislators from across the nation.”

Rooted in the understanding that polarization presents new and unique obstacles to modern policymaking, the Innovation Fellowship cultivates the next generation of national leaders with the skills to build bipartisan coalitions and pass effective legislation. Through hands-on research, interactive workshops, expert mentorship and real-world application, the group of lawmakers will enhance their ability to craft durable policy solutions that adapt to ever-changing realities.

The class represents 20 states and includes three distinct cohorts related to a specific policy focus: strengthening democracy, energy and environment, and health care with a particular focus on maternal health and child wellness. Castro was among the 29 Gen Z and millennial state lawmakers from across the country selected to participate for her commitment to prioritizing legislative results over scoring personal points.

“We are so excited to announce this year's inaugural class of Innovation Fellows,” said Layla Zaidane, President and CEO of Future Caucus. “The 29 young lawmakers selected for this fellowship represent a more promising future for our country, one where the brightest minds can come together, despite partisan differences, and get things done.”

The Innovation Fellowship is part of Future Caucus’ Innovation Lab. Launched in 2023, the Innovation Lab connects the dots between the next generation of legislators and policy experts to support bridge building on key issues. Legislators have access to a policy library, live briefings, on-demand experts, and connections with other young lawmakers across state lines.

For more information on the inaugural class of Innovation Fellows, click here.