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Meet the Fellows

FAO Fellows and Alumni leading the change since 2006

Tomorrow’s Social Impact Leaders

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 .
Serena Salgado

Serena Salgado, 2022

“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.”

Charlotte Blackman

Charlotte Blackman, 2022

“I was immediately drawn to the Foundation’s commitment to social impact. Having grown up in New York City, I have witnessed firsthand how social inequities impact different communities. Coming from a low-income background and having attended a private school and then a private college, I strongly believe in the transformative power of education.”

Louis Berman

Louis Berman, 2013

My two years as a Fellow were transformative for my professional career. I got hands-on experience in the field of early childhood education that still influences my current work as a preschool teacher. I also learned valuable professional and leadership skills through ongoing support and training from the Fellowship’s staff and my supportive and close cohort. I loved my time as a Fellow and feel so lucky to have had the experience!
Adriana Moran Garcia
Adriana Moran-Garcia, 2022

“I was motivated to apply for the Fellowship because it would allow me to continue to explore my passion for working within public art and community outreach. I am excited to serve Mural Arts and help facilitate projects that will be beneficial and useful to different communities.”

Lex Brown

Lex Brown, 2022

“I believe in the value of community and the transformative power of supportive and loving relationships anchored in accountability and transparency. My entire college career has centered around engaging with young people in any way I can, and working with Breakthrough Greater Boston provides me with an opportunity to further connect with a city I call home and its young people.”

Clara Monk

Clara Monk, 2022

“The FAO Schwarz 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 supporting elementary schoolers in developing strong literacy skills. I can’t think of a better way to start a career in social impact.”

Jonathan Baez, 2014

I would not be where I am if it weren’t for the FAO Schwarz 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. That to me, was the most important lesson that I can have ever learned.”

Abi Mlo, 2022

“I look forward to promoting wellness and self-sufficiency across communities. My personal and professional values are intertwined in such a way that led me to my major in Human Development and Family Studies and my goal to pursue a career in the social impact sector. Working with FAO Schwarz Fellowship and The Trust serves as the perfect next step in my holistic path.”

Joyce Kim, 2020

“The financial aid process can be extremely complex and confusing, but I believe it shouldn’t deter students from pursuing post-secondary educational opportunities. I want to support students through these barriers and strive for systems-wide changes for greater equity in education.”

Greg Wright, 2017

“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. “

Taylor Reese, 2021

“I’ve always been passionate about education, learning, and opportunity, so I am thrilled to be at Year Up supporting young adults. I have made so many meaningful and lasting connections with the other FAO Schwarz fellows, my coworkers, and the students we serve. I am grateful for the opportunity to make a difference and contribute to the experience of our students as they launch their careers.
Marielena Fernandez, 2021

“My work at DREAM Charter School takes into consideration the development of the whole child by driving Social-Emotional Learning into both academic and non-academic settings. Through the FAO Schwarz Fellowship, I am able to provide inner-city youth with equal access to education and more.”

Joseph Rosales, 2016

“My 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.”

Jen Benson, 2017

“My experience at Riverkeeper has been greatly supported by the Foundation’s Executive Director, alumni and current fellows. This community continues to provide meaningful support both personally and professionally which is so very much appreciated.”

Angela Ortiz, 2021

“The FAO Schwarz Fellowship is a perfect fit—giving me the room to do direct service work while contributing meaningfully to systems-oriented projects. My work at Generation Citizen is an amazing opportunity to learn and make significant change in the communities I am a part of.

Nicholas Mitch, 2020

“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.”

Emily Hynes, 2021

I  believe access to traditional post-secondary education shouldn’t be a barrier for future success. I want to help close the opportunity divide and give young adults without the means or time the ability to have the meaningful career they want while opening up corporations to the endless talent they’ve previously overlooked in hiring.”

Deshaun Parris, 2015

“The Fellowship has allowed me to combine two of my passions—community outreach and  health education. I have been given a unique experience to have a direct impact on youth and their perception of healthy living.”

Meredith Jones, 2021
After working as a reading tutor, I wanted to contribute to systemic change in public education. Through the fellowship I’m able to explore my interests in both outreach and education policy while learning from and collaborating with community members
Erika Apupalo, 2020
Reading Partners combines my love for reading and my interest in giving back to my community. I am excited to work with students to build their literacy skills and potentials.

Annie Want, 2020

“I’ve always known that young people are capable of creating movements. My work allows me to identify, equip, support, and celebrate youth leaders in Philadelphia schools as they strive to lead safer and healthier lives—and I am grateful to learn from them.”


Lauren Hurley, 2020

“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 provide resources to help them be successful.”

Khari Graves, 2017

“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.”

Allie Negron, 2018
A college education should be attainable. Many students may not have a parent, legal guardian, older sibling, or friend to serve as their guide towards reaching postsecondary education. I want to help students with dreams of going to college reach their goals.

Are you the next FAO Schwarz Fellow?

We host a series of free info sessions to help you learn more about the Fellowship. Sign up to get an email when the new cycle is announced or find us on social media at @faofellows.