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The FAO Schwarz Fellows Newsletter

2017 Cohort Update

Ellie Sanchez

Generation Citizen (Boston)

In 2022, I was tapped by Boston City Councilor Gabriela Coletta to be her Chief of Staff. It has been a busy year, but a dream of a lifetime to head up Councilor Coletta’s office. I also got married in late April to my wife, Allie. I’m very excited for what 2023 has in store for my professional and home life. 

Jen Benson

Riverkeeper (NYC)

In June two significant chapters concluded: I graduated with my Masters of Environmental Policy after 3-years as a part-time student at Bard College, and my 7-year service at Riverkeeper came to an end. After two months as a contractor, I began full-time at the Hudson River Watershed Alliance (HRWA) as the Watershed Program Specialist on Halloween. The mission of the HRWA is to unite and empower communities to protect our shared waters, and across the Hudson River watershed to support watershed groups, help communities work together on water issues, and communicate as a collective voice. I spent most of 2022 as a volunteer Field Coordinator knocking nearly 2,500 doors in support of climate organizer Sarahana Shrestha’s campaign for New York State Assembly. Otherwise, I continue to live in Kingston, New York, and spend my free time hiking in the Catskill Mountains, exploring used bookstores, and cooking with my housemates.

Julia Fillman

Row New York (NYC)

I’m still living in Philly and about to enter my fourth year working at Penn as a frontline fundraiser for undergraduate student life and learning. This past May I graduated from Penn’s School of Social Policy and Practice with a Master’s in Nonprofit Leadership. Beyond that, I’ve really enjoyed getting to travel a bit more again this past year to see friends and family – as well as taking my first trip to the UK!

Khari Graves

The Food Trust (Philadelphia)

Khari is the Youth Violence Outreach Counselor at the Anti-Violence Partnership of Philadelphia. “I help young people, largely Black and Brown boys, affected by violence and other traumas on their healing and recovery journeys..and in building better independent relationships to mental health services and how effective and helpful they can be.”

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"The fellowship has provided me with a deep professional network, life-long friends, and valuable leadership skills"
A Fellow standing in front of the Hudson River
Jen Benson
Watershed Program Specialist at the Hudson River Watershed Alliance (HRWA)