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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 .

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 helping young people so am thrilled to be at Year Up. I am am making exciting connections with other FAO Schwarz fellows, my coworkers, and the students we serve.
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 academic interests led me to seek a career that would combine my passions for cultural identity and serving others. Through the FAO Schwarz  Fellowship, I have developed a deep passion for educational equity and have grown in a field that I now hold dear.”

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, 2019
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.