2024 Host Logos

Announcing the FAO Schwarz Fellowship Host Organizations for 2024

BOSTON — September 28, 2023. The FAO Schwarz Family Foundation has selected six leading nonprofit organizations to host the 2024-2026 FAO Schwarz Fellowships.  The host organizations selected this year are  826 Boston (Boston) which is a first-time host, Audubon Mid-Atlantic, The Clay Studio, The Food Trust (Philadelphia), and the Museum of the City of New York (New York City). They will each host one new Fellow.  Reading Partners (New York City) will host two Fellows in New York.

“The Foundation has always believed that young people have the desire and potential to imagine and create a better world, and the Fellowship is designed to help them become the leaders they hope to be.”

The Food Trust will be hosting its fifth Fellow. The Museum of the City of New York, which was among the first organizations to host a Fellow in 2006, will be hosting its seventh Fellow and Reading Partners will welcome its fourth and fifth Fellows. The Fellowships are two-year paid positions that develop the leadership skills of recent college graduates pursuing careers in social impact. 

“We’re proud to offer these paid, professional experiences with our country’s leading nonprofits where talented recent graduates can develop the skills they need to lead the change,” said Priscilla Cohen, Executive Director. “The Foundation has always believed that young people have the desire and potential to imagine and create a better world, and the Fellowship is designed to help them become the leaders they hope to be.”

The two-year paid experience offers new college graduates a chance to play key roles in some of society’s most successful and innovative social change organizations while increasing the host’s capacity and impact. The diversity of organizations selected as hosts provides Fellows with an overview of the nonprofit landscape in a variety of sectors as well as opportunities to collaborate and compare the strategies and leadership approaches organizations use in their work.

This year’s hosts are enthusiastic about the ways their Fellows can contribute to their work in the communities they serve:

826 Orange LogoCarolyn Navikonis, Senior Director of Impact at 826 Boston said,  “We’re thrilled to have an FAO Schwarz Fellow join the 826 Boston team. This Fellowship will boost our ability to offer a wide range of outstanding programs and provide individualized support to students across Boston as they grow as writers and leaders.”

Damien Ruffner, Program Manager from Audubon-Mid-Atlantic, which is currently hosting a Fellow, said, “The FAO Schwarz Fellow is vital to Audubon’s commitment and outreach into North Philadelphia. Our Fellow provides a consistent presence in the community, solidifying us as an integral community partner, creating a sustained and lasting impact on current and future generations of North Philadelphia residents.”

The Clay Studio is thrilled to again partner with the FAO Schwarz Family Foundation to host a Fellow,” said Josie Bockelman, Deputy Director of The Clay Studio. “As an organization, we strongly believe it is critical to be a part of developing the next generation of non-profit professionals through direct work experience.”

“The Food Trust is thrilled to once again welcome an FAO Schwarz fellow to our team, as we work together toward our mission of delicious, nutritious food for all,” said Mark Edwards, President & CEO of The Food Trust.  “As with any organization, our most valuable asset is our talented, passionate staff, and we feel strongly that young leaders inject invaluable energy, enthusiasm, and creativity into the social impact space.”

“I’ve worked with two phenomenal Fellows who have contributed to all aspects of our programs,” said Sydney Stewart, Manager of Student Learning and Experience at the Museum of the City of New York. “Our current Fellow designed one of our most popular STEAM-based field trip experiences. We know that our next fellow is bound to bring passion and insight to the work they do and to  create rich and meaningful experiences for our audiences.”

Finally, Primo Lasana, Executive Director of Reading Partners said, “FAO Schwarz Fellows have become an invaluable resource to Reading Partners NYC and even our national organization. Our most recent fellow joined the staff team at RPNYC and currently is a staff member at our national organization.”

Since the Fellowship’s founding in 2006, there have been 73 FAO Schwarz Fellows. Nearly 41 percent have been hired by their host organizations, 59 percent have gone on to graduate programs, and 95 percent continue to work in the social impact sector. 

Applications for the next cohort open on November 1. Interested students are invited to attend one of the Fellowship’s online info sessions to learn more. Visit faoschwarzfellowship.org for more information.