For the third year, we’re proud to welcome a vibrant and diverse group of young professionals into the Vera Fellowship Program. After a mid-June retreat and intensive week of workshops, the Fellows joined Vera teams in Boston and Mumbai last week. Rachel Forst and Samantha Vilaboa started work in Vera’s Boston hub, while David Cutler, Carl Hughes, Patrick Keating, Rushika Pattni, Shreya Singh, and Katie Sullivan made the considerably longer trek to Mumbai. Consultant Natalie Price also attended training and has joined the Mumbai hub, and 2015 Fellow Luis Roca starts with the Boston team at the end of this month, coming off a year of research and work in Peru.
The 2015 Fellows hail from five countries and a wide range of educational and professional backgrounds. As a Princeton in Latin America Fellow, Katie Sullivan spent the last year at a Guatemalan NGO serving indigenous Mayan women. Shreya Singh most recently worked with PRS Legislative Research, an organization providing non-partisan research support to Members of Indian Parliament, while Sam Vilaboa joins Vera following a year of fieldwork in South Africa with our partner Grassroot Soccer.
“Everyone on the team has an interesting story and background, coming from different fields and countries, with a range of stories to share about their efforts to make a difference,” reflected Carl Hughes, who joins the team having just completed a Master’s degree in Geography at McGill University. “Despite very different profiles, we share the common goal of using technology more effectively to solve social challenges.”
The Fellows participated in a weeklong training at Amherst College – alma mater of Vera Co-Founders Karti Subramanian and Taylor Downs – after a three-day retreat spent hiking and camping in northern Vermont. “During training, I learned a lot about using technologies for monitoring and evaluation and different approaches to measuring impact,” Carl said. “It’s a big headache for many organizations, and, after my first two weeks, I’m eager to dig in and start helping our partners.”
“We’re thrilled to welcome this new cohort of young leaders, our largest and most diverse Fellow class yet,” said Vera Co-Founder and CEO, Zak Kaufman. “We can’t wait to see what they’re able to accomplish in the next year and the years to come.”
About the Vera Fellowship Program:
The Vera Fellowship Program provides impact-driven young professionals with the opportunity to help solve problems for some of the most innovative NGOs, social enterprises, and grant-making institutions worldwide. Vera anticipates opening applications to the 2016-2017 Fellowship in early 2016. To read more about our 2015-2016 Fellows, check out their bios here.