FAO Schwarz Fellows are problem-solvers drawn to critical social challenges and intent on increasing equity and social justice. From first-year Fellows just getting started to alumni Fellows engaged in leading the change in new roles, we’re proud of their accomplishments and can’t wait to see what they will do next. Get to know a few of the extraordinary young leaders who have been part of the FAO Fellowship program since 2008.
"This Fellowship stood out to me because of its commitment to addressing social inequities and prioritization of community-based work, and its mission to facilitate educational opportunities for young people."
"I have witnessed firsthand how social inequities impact communities. Coming from a low-income background and having attended private schools, I strongly believe in the transformative power of education."
"As a Fellow, I got hands-on experience in early childhood education that still influences my current work as a preschool teacher. I also learned valuable professional and leadership skills."
“For as long as I can remember I wanted to help others through food. As graduation got closer, I began to think seriously about how to transform my personal passion into a career fighting for food access, nutritional equity, and empowering communities.”
"I would not be where I am if it weren’t for the Fellowship. I am a passionate educator of color who knows his worth. The Fellowship taught me that I matter and that I deserve to have a seat at the table. To me, that was the most important lesson I could ever learn."
"The FAO Schwarz Fellowship is a great opportunity to prioritize social justice and community engagement in the museum space. Museums can serve as incredible educational institutions, even helping to alleviate some of the problems facing our education system."
"I'm hoping to gain direct service experience before pursuing a Ph.D. in Urban Sociology. The Fellowship stands out through its combination of direct service engagements and continuous/project-based impact, and aligns with my goal of attacking inequality at its root."
"My personal and professional values led me to my goal to pursue a career in the social impact sector. Working with the Fellowship and The Trust serves as the perfect next step in my holistic path. I look forward to promoting wellness and self-sufficiency across communities."
"The FAO Schwarz Foundation Fellowship helped launch my career. Through my fellowship I had the opportunity to work with schools across Philadelphia to learn the concerns of families and school administration."
“I taught at Breakthrough during college, and was invigorated by students’ motivation to learn. As middle-schoolers, these students were already working toward their goal of attending college. I am so excited to support them and help them succeed.”
"This is the power of the Fellowship: to give you the opportunity to work at an organization that exposes you to both how our education is impacting students on a micro-level and the large scale impact nonprofits can have through coalitions and advocacy work. "
"By pushing me into leadership positions, the Fellowship helped start my career in student advocacy and education reform, and I would not have the skills, experience, and passion to be in these spaces without it."
"Thriving ecosystems and thriving communities go hand-in-hand. You can’t have one without the other. I wanted the chance to live out this understanding, supporting both urban and rural communities as they connect with and protect the Hudson River watershed."
"The Fellowship is an incredible opportunity to learn and grow while serving the community and getting hands-on experience in education and in a non-profit. I am so excited to work with Reading Partners and get to be a part of the amazing work that they are doing.”
"I believe in being a part of something bigger than myself. I am a lifelong learner who commits to the deep research and special training necessary to make the most positive and effective social impact on the communities that the Barnes serves."
“I’ve always been passionate about education and opportunity, so supporting young adults at Year Up was the perfect fit. I have made so many meaningful and lasting connections with the other Fellows, my coworkers, and the students we serve. I am grateful for the opportunity to make a difference.“
"The financial aid process can be extremely complex and confusing, but I believe it shouldn’t deter students from pursuing educational opportunities. I want to support students through these barriers and strive for systems-wide changes for greater equity in education."
"I'm inspired by Year Up’s dedication to educational equity and mission to close the Opportunity Divide. I hope to dedicate my career to using the opportunities that I have had to close that gap and help young people achieve their academic and career goals.”
"My interest in working for Jumpstart stems from my desire to dedicate my professional life to addressing the inequities in access to high-quality early education and care and focusing on the socioeconomic and racial factors that lead to discrepancies in access."
“I was motivated to apply for the Fellowship because it would allow me to continue to explore my passion for public art and community outreach. I am excited to serve Mural Arts and help facilitate projects that will be beneficial to different communities.”