How many friends do you have in Nigeria? Well, according to Atlas Corps, you have about 8 - the number of Atlas Corps Fellows from Nigeria. I'd like you to meet Esther Agbarakwe. She joined our network of 100 nonprofit leaders in September 2011 as part of Class 7. It is a network that you have supported through your involvement with Atlas Corps. She wanted to say thank you and share with you all that she has experienced in her first 30 days of service as a Class 7 Fellow from Nigeria serving at Population Action International in Washington, DC. In Esther's words...
When I packed my bags for this trip, I knew that a whole new world awaits me. A world of new challenges; food, wealther, language and people. Even the news of the Earth quake was frightening A month later, sitting in the dinning room with Phil (flatemate and Fellow from Zimbabwe,) during 'Family Time' discussing issues from food, weather, movies to work. Yes work, According to Phil, 80% of my 'talkings' has been about my work, how 'I love my work'. I agree, I am currently in a place to learn, a place where individual creativity and innovative traits are challenged and enhanced for organistional and personal advancement. In addition, Who I was before the fellowship helped (thinking..sometime our past defines our future, but the present help shape it better. No?)It been a great month, I witnessed not only the 9/11 memorial , but also a begining of a lifetime of friendship accross different culture and race within the fellows and people we meet outside the fellowship. I have had a fabulous one month, I feel blessed, inspired, engaged and moreso, a feel like a person who is creating a change in a liitle space. Yes, I have been in many crossroads within this one month, and they have been people who helped and am grateful for that. on the list is Gbenga and phil, co-fellows and my Supervisor at work. When I wake up tomorrow morning siping a hot cup of Kenyan tea looking out of the window, I know that will I see a star rising, a shining one.
-Esther Agbarakwe (Nigeria, Class 7)
Thank you for being an inspiration. Thank you for supporting Esther. Thank you for believing in Atlas Corps...and our ever-growing network of Fellows. Are you interested in increasing your involvement with this inspired individuals? Do you have plans on Wednesday, October 19? It is the final GlobalGiving Bonus Day of 2011.
Our goal: raise $3,000 (Are you ready for the challenge?)
Our commitment: The Atlas Corps team will match $1 for $1 the first $1,500 donated...IN ADDITION, GlobalGiving will match all donations by 30% (up to $1,000 per individual).
Your challenge: Contribute ($1,000, $100, $10) starting at 12:01 AM on Wednesday, October 19 - all donations make a difference.
Let's show our support for Esther (and her Fellow colleagues) as she completes her next 11 months of service in Washington, DC, and continues to be an inspiring nonprofit leader on a global scale.
Can you help us achieve our $3,000 goal?!
Scott and the Atlas Corps Team
Atlas Corps Welcomes Class 7 Brings Fellowship to More than 100 Participants!
"We welcome our Class 7 Atlas Corps Fellows with great enthusiasm—23 nonprofit leaders from 16 countries ranging from Colombia to Nepal to Yemen. These inspiring individuals left their homes—some in times of major social change—to become part of a global network committed to improving our world,” said Atlas Corps Founder and CEO Scott Beale. “Now, more than ever, we see the value in building bridges across cultures and countries in our increasingly globalized world. Atlas Corps’s work to address social issues, develop leaders, strengthen organizations, and promote innovation is achieving this goal by taking a new approach to facilitating international cooperation in the nonprofit sector.”
It is an honor to introduce Class 7, serving in Washington, DC, New York, Atlanta, Minneapolis, San Francisco, and Bogota, Colombia!
Serving in the United States
Bolatito Oluwayemisi Ogunbiyi, 28, Abuja, Nigeria (Host: Population Action International
Cristina Andoni, 26, Chișinău, Republic of Moldova (Host: Points of Light Institute)
Demetrio Spinola Guirao, 26, Granada, Spain (Host: Habitat for Humanity)
Diana Flórez Melo, 32, Bogotá, Colombia (Host: Youth Service America)
Esther Kelechi Agbarakwe, 27, Abuja, Nigeria (Host: Population Action International)
Eva Kemigisa Baguma, 33, Kampala, Uganda (Host: America Scores)
Gastón Pierri Gonsebatt, 30, Buenos Aires, Argentina (Host: Global Citizens Network)
Hina Mushtaq, 27, Rawalpindi, Pakistan (Host: Public Health Institute)
Hira Tanveer, 28, Islamabad, Pakistan (Host: Service for Peace)
Ibrahim Mothana, 23, Sana’a, Yemen (Host: MobileActive.org)
Ihsan Karayazi, 29, Kars, Turkey (Host: HasNa)
Jane Wanjiku Kiiru, 29, Nairobi, Kenya (Host: InsideNGO)
Jonathas Freire Barreto, 25, São Paulo, Brazil (Host: Points of Light Institute)
Kay Kim, 26, Seoul, Korea (Host: Service for Peace)
Mohammed Seifeldin Abdalla, 26, Khartoum, Sudan (Host: Susan G. Komen for the Cure)
Mukesh Hamal, 28, Kathmandu, Nepal (Host: Special Olympics)
Oladele Olagundoye, 31, Lagos, Nigeria (Host: GBCHealth)
Patrick Henry Asinero, 29, Davao City, Philippines (Host: International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children)
Renata Chilvarquer, 24, São Paulo, Brazil (Host: Ashoka U)
Serving in Colombia
Benjamin Russell, 26, California, United States (Host Organization: Fundación Capital)
Elisa Lopez, 22, California, United States (Host Organization: Fundación Alejandrito Corazón)
Isabel Quiroz, 28, Texas, United States (Host Organization: Fundación Niños de los Andes)
Summer in Washington, DC, means hot temperatures, long days, and only a few more weeks until we welcome our next Class of Fellows! On August 29th, Class 7 will start their first day of Orientation Week. In the weeks leading up to that date, we are making the final preparations and will announce this latest group of dynamic nonprofit leaders and organizations in August.
Every Class is a milestone for Atlas Corps and this group will be no different. For starters, Class 7 marks our first national expansion as we welcome new cities to our network. In addition, Class 7 culminates our 50 in the 50th Campaign - to engage 50 leaders from 25 countries in 100,000 hours of service. I am happy to report that we are on track to achieve that goal. I also invite you to read more about our current and Alumni Fellows.
Thank you for making the Atlas Corps network so dynamic!
Atlas Corps Fellow Update
Even while living in another country, Atlas Corps Fellow Windy Previl (Haiti, Class 6) still actively engages with his home country of Haiti. Recently, Windy returned to Haiti to connect with the nonprofits supported by his Host Organization, American Jewish World Service. “I was so happy to be back home,” shared Windy as he enjoyed his duel role as a Haitian and an Atlas Corps Fellow, “I met more people (with my new role). I hope that we will stay in touch in order to develop our partnership.” Windy is already excited for how he will benefit Haiti after his Fellowship year, “I'll be ready to bring my skills back and to contribute to development.” Previl thanked Atlas Corps for the wonderful opportunities it offers to so many young leaders because “when they return home, the skills they learn will help them to be true assets for the development of their own communities.” His advice for future Fellows is that "despite all the difficulties one might encounter in the United States, you have to be open to change because here you will learn and develop important skills that can help you in your future career." We look forward to hearing more about Windy's achievements throughout his year of service.
You can read more about Windy and Atlas Corps updates in the latest edition of the Atlas Corps newsletter.
Atlas Corps Alumni Update
Since we welcomed our first class in 2007, we are grateful for all of the support and excited for all our current and alumni Fellows have achieved. Here are a few highlights: