- Uzoma Orchingwa and Gabriel Saruhashi – Ameelio
- Rebecca van Bergen – Nest
- Marisa Hamamoto – Infinite Flow
- Daniel Lloyd – Minority Millennials
- Carrie Rich – Global Good Fund
- Saket Soni – Resilience Force
- Dustin Young – Our Own
- Matt Connelly – Good360
- Jake Harriman – Nuru International
- Mónica Ramirez – Justice For Migrant Women
- Shelly Bell – Black Girl Ventures(BGV)
- Rodolfo “Rudy” Reyes – Force Blue
- Abigail Dillen – Earthjustice
- Matine Khalighi – EEqual
- Jess Posner Odede – Girl Effect
- Kasha Sequoia Slavner – The Global Sunrise Project
- Brandon Freeny and Ramon Robinson – Positivity Pays
- Tom O’Keefe – Stride for Stride
- Stef Stanley and Liz Stone – OK Mentor
- Cheryl L. Dorsey – Echoing Green
- Georges Clement – JustFix.nyc
- Ana Dodson – Peruvian Hearts Foundation
- Aly Murray – UPchieve
- Skyler Badenoch – Hope for Haiti
- Alex Kotran, Ora D. Tanner, and Ehrik Aldana – AIEDU
- George M. Tsiatis – Resolution Project
- Thom Scher – Beyond Type 1
According to Guidestar there are approximately 1.8 million recognized 501(c)3 organizations based in the United States.
The Stanford Social Innovation Review notes these organizations account for 5-10 percent of the United States’ economy and about 10 percent of U.S. employment.
Since 1998, annual revenues from nonprofit organizations in the U.S. has been rising nearly every year. Statista shows a steady increase in annual revenues from $1.04 trillion in 1998 to $2.62 trillion in 2016.
Nonprofit organizations are a crucial part to not only the U.S. economy, but also to our global economy. It’s inspiring to see so many talented and dedicated leaders leap into the nonprofit sector to enhance giving into the modern era.
These nonprofit leaders profiled below exhibit the essential attributes of an impactful nonprofit leader, and their organizations will undoubtedly impact the world in 2021.
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Uzoma Orchingwa and Gabriel Saruhashi – Ameelio
Uzoma Orchingwa is the Founder and CEO of Ameelio. He is also is a joint-degree student at Yale Law School and Yale School of Management (currently on leave). Uzoma has received a Gates-Cambridge Scholarship, Truman Scholarship, and Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans.
He holds a Masters of Philosophy degree in Criminology from the University of Cambridge.
Gabriel Saruhashi is a co-founder and CTO of Ameelio. He is also a senior at Yale majoring in computer science and psychology (currently on leave).
He has received a Clara Lionel (Rihanna) Foundation Global Scholarship, WISE Learners’ Voice Fellowship, and Slavin Fellowship. Previously, he has worked as a software engineer at Facebook, and product manager at Zippi, a Y Combinator-backed startup.
Ameelio is a non-profit technology company that builds free communication technology to accelerate the creation of a more humane and rehabilitative justice system.
The tools enable 27 million families to communicate with their incarcerated loved ones, organizations to scale their social services, and colleges to empower incarcerated people through virtual learning.
The organization is a technological bridge that reconnects incarcerated people with their families and vital resources — for free.
These tools will improve post-release outcomes, lower recidivism rates, and help America safely reduce the size of its prison populations.
They’re backed by Schmidt Futures, Mozilla Foundation, the Robin Hood Foundation, Google.org, and Fast Forward accelerator. The funders also include Eric Schmidt, the former Google CEO, and Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter and Square.
Rebecca van Bergen – Nest
Rebecca van Bergen stands at the helm of innovation as the Founder and Executive Director of Nest, a nonprofit on a mission to craft a novel handworker economy that drives global workforce inclusivity, uplifts women’s wellbeing beyond conventional factories, and safeguards cultural heritage.
In 2006, the same year that Muhammad Yunus was honored with the Nobel Peace Prize for his microfinance contributions, Rebecca earned her Masters Degree in Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.
Guided by her fervent aspiration to transform crafts – the second-largest employer of women worldwide – into a powerful force for rectifying gender and income disparities, she embarked on her journey by establishing Nest at the tender age of 24.
Rebecca’s list of accomplishments is nothing short of impressive: a Draper Richards Kaplan Social Entrepreneur, a Cordes Fellow, and the recipient of Ashoka and C&A Foundation’s prestigious 2016 Fabric of Change Award for revolutionary strides in fashion sustainability (recently honored at the Copenhagen Fashion Summit).
Among her accolades, Rebecca is also recognized as a Levi Strauss & Co. Collaboratory Fellow, a Draper Richards Kaplan Fellow, and hailed by the New York mayor’s office as a NYC Catalyst.
Her excellence extends to being chosen as one of GLG’s 2015 Social Impact fellows, earning complimentary membership with the Clinton Global Initiative in both 2015 and 2016.
Rebecca’s insightful perspectives frequently find their way into the international media landscape, appearing in prominent outlets such as The New York Times, NPR, Quartz, The Guardian, ELLE, Glamour, and more. Her contributions have earned her titles like PBS “Changemaker,” CNN’s Young Person Who Rocks, and a position among the White House’s esteemed Top 100 Entrepreneurial Enterprises led by a young visionary.
Marisa Hamamoto – Infinite Flow
As seen on NBC Today and ABC Good Morning America, Marisa Hamamoto, a stroke survivor and founder of Infinite Flow, a nonprofit and professional dance company composed of dancers with and without disabilities, is an innovative inclusion speaker, performing artist, and creative strategist who adds creativity and heart to the conversation of Diversity and Inclusion.
Her clients and partners include Apple, Facebook, Red Bull, adidas, Porsche, Farmer’s Insurance, International Monetary Fund, and Kaiser Permanente, amongst others.
In 2018, Marisa and wheelchair ballroom world champion Piotr Iwanicki made history by being the first dancers to perform at Apple’s Steve Jobs Theater with CEO Tim Cook in the audience.
Her videos have been viewed by more than 75 Million people on Facebook alone, with Sheryl Sandberg and George Takei being amongst the public figures that have shared her work.
She was also a fellow within the Red Bull Amaphiko and Facebook Community Leadership Programs, and was recently named by adidas as 1 of 9 woman leaders “reimagining sport” for their International Women’s Day Campaign 2020.
Most recently during the 2020 pandemic, Marisa was featured on the Marie Forleo Podcast / Marie TV, and along with Infinite Flow launched Scoops of Inclusion, a short film and learning platform celebrating diversity and empowering kids to take an active role in creating a more inclusive world where we each feel we belong.
Marisa is a leader, artist, and speaker on the rise looking to empower people through dance and storytelling to think outside the box, disable bias, build new connections, and create breakthrough innovations.
Established in 2015, Infinite Flow is an award-winning Los Angeles based nonprofit and professional dance company composed of dancers with and without disabilities. Infinite Flow’s mission is to promote inclusion and encourage people to learn something new about themselves and the world around them.
Since 2015, Infinite Flow has performed over 100 times, from school assemblies to corporate events with Apple, Facebook, Red Bull, Porsche Kaiser Permanente, Farmer’s Insurance, among others.
Their dance videos have been viewed by over 75 Million people on Facebook alone, and they have been featured by NBC Today, ABC Good Morning America, among other national and international media outlets. Infinite Flow was founded by Marisa Hamamoto, a professional dancer and stroke survivor.
In Oct 2020, Infinite Flow launched Scoops of Inclusion, a short film and online learning platform empowering kids to celebrate differences and take part in creating an inclusive world. Infinite Flow is available for performances, keynotes, panels, and accessibility & inclusion workshops, both virtually and in person.
Daniel Lloyd – Minority Millennials
Daniel serves as the visionary force behind Minority Millennials, an innovative entity committed to advocating for the interests of Minorities & Millennials within the policies shaping America’s future.
At its core, the organization envisions a landscape where minority millennials and subsequent generations in America are bestowed with the essential human capital investment to drive progress towards a more economically, culturally, and socially sustainable future.
Established in 2017 by the dynamic duo of Daniel Lloyd and Andrew Ayodeji, Minority Millennials emerged as a pivotal instrument designed to bridge the gap between policy and culture on Long Island, NY.
Guided by a resolute mission to champion the rights of Minorities & Millennials in policies steering our collective destiny.
Their approach is methodical and impactful, fostering empowerment among this generation and those that follow through substantive POLICY transformations aimed at dismantling barriers to achieving and sustaining success.
Collaboratively, Daniel and his adept team incubate innovative ideas to address community challenges, nurture a collective awareness that nurtures innovation, and fervently advocate for an all-encompassing, just, and accessible education, healthcare, and economic opportunities.
The organization’s commitment extends further, including the nurturing and education of new leaders, the initiation of wealth-building strategies, the promotion of home ownership, and the establishment of political parity to ensure the enduring sustainability of our nation.
Minority Millennials serves as a platform for minorities & millennials to connect, brainstorm solutions, and gain insights into pressing matters pertinent to their professional and personal growth.
Members enjoy the fruits of committees, educational initiatives, career resources, research capabilities, mentorship platforms, and invaluable business advisory services.
Carrie Rich – Global Good Fund
Carrie Rich stands as the Co-founder and CEO of The Global Good Fund, an instrumental figure in the creation of this transformative organization.
Aged just 26, Carrie was fortunate enough to have a mentor who recognized her potential and invested in her burgeoning leadership journey.
Together, they harnessed the notion of coupling seasoned business executives with emerging social entrepreneurs to give rise to a global phenomenon.
Beyond this, Carrie wears the hat of Managing Director at the Global Impact Fund, a sibling enterprise to The Global Good Fund.
This venture capital fund is dedicated to generating market-leading returns while supporting social entrepreneurs who belong to marginalized demographics, such as people of color and women.
At the core of Carrie’s ethos lies a profound commitment to accessibility, a belief in the potential for ordinary individuals to empower both themselves and others.
An accomplished author, Carrie has penned three books, including the enlightening Health Entrepreneurship: A Practical Guide, and two editions of Sustainability for Healthcare Management: A Leadership Imperative.
Notably, the latter secured a spot among the top 5 business books in Handelsblatt (Germany). Carrie’s exceptional contributions have earned her accolades such as The Daily Record’s Most Admired CEO, the distinguished EY Entrepreneur of the Year award, and the prestigious POLITICO Women Who Rule Award.
Saket Soni – Resilience Force
Saket is the founder and executive director of Resilience Force, the national initiative to transform America’s response to disasters by strengthening and securing America’s Resilience Workforce.
Based on more than a decade of work helping disaster-affected communities, Saket founded Resilience Force to create a new recovery process where all workers, including immigrants, are recognized, rewarded, and supported as they help rebuild our country after disaster.
This past spring Resilience Force was featured in the Netflix docuseries, Immigration Nation, that highlighted immigrants as a crucial part of the rebuilding process and exposed exactly how Trump’s deportation machine undercuts America’s recovery.
Prior to founding Resilience Force, Saket co-founded the New Orleans Center for Racial Justice, an organization that led and won major legal and policy battles for both U.S.-born and immigrant workers engaged in the reconstruction of New Orleans, and the National Guestworker Alliance, an organization focused on defending the human rights and dignity of guestworkers in America.
Dustin Young – Our Own
Dustin wears multiple hats as a Mentor, Advocate for Physical and Mental Health, and the visionary Founder of Our Own.
Armed with a degree in Psychology and Sociology, Dustin embarked on a journey working with various nonprofit organizations that concentrated on behavioral prevention for inner-city youth.
This hands-on experience has endowed him with a profound insight into the intricacies of optimal health provision, paving the way for individuals to realize their full potential.
With this keen awareness, Dustin stands ready to extend unparalleled and exceptionally remarkable support to the younger generation.
Deeply rooted in the community and intimately familiar with the daily struggles faced by our youth, Dustin made a resolute choice to channel his efforts into crafting solutions that foster community growth.
His innovative approach veers from convention, leveraging non-traditional engagement methods to tackle the stigma surrounding mental health treatment.
Dustin’s energy is nothing short of extraordinary, his approachability and amiable demeanor are truly remarkable traits. Above all, his genuine affection for people shines through, making him a truly unique advocate, distinctly committed to serving the betterment of society.
Matt Connelly – Good360
Matt Connelly joined Good360 as Chief Executive Office after having served on our Board of Directors for eight years, including the last four as Co-Chairman.
Matt is a transportation and supply chain industry veteran with a 32-year track record at UPS where he most recently developed the network strategy and design for the US transportation network and was responsible for the sourcing of purchased transportation.
Additional accomplishments include executing multiple contracts with the US Postal Service, and leading the integration of Coyote Logistics, a company acquired by UPS.
Matt first began his UPS career as a package driver in Cambridge, MA, and progressed through a series of operations and engineering roles within UPS, including assignments in Florida, Chicago and UPS Supply Chain Solutions.
Matt played a significant role with UPS’s expansion into global markets, forwarding and contract logistics services.
In addition to his responsibilities for UPS Network Operations, Matt also served on the UPS Humanitarian Relief Program Steering Committee and oversaw UPS’s humanitarian relief transportation solutions for The UPS Foundation.
Additionally, Matt represented UPS for five years on the American Red Cross Corporate Advisory Council.
Matt was born and raised in Boston, earned a Bachelor of Science in business Administration from Northeastern University, and completed the Goizueta Executive Program at Emory University.
Jake Harriman – Nuru International
Jake Harriman graduated with distinction, from the United States Naval Academy and served seven and a half years in the U.S. Marine Corps as a Platoon Commander in both the Infantry and Force Recon.
During his military service, Jake led four operational deployments, including two combat tours in Iraq.
From his experience Jake learned that the “War on Terror” wouldn’t be won on the battlefield alone: the factors contributing to terrorism—including extreme poverty—must also be eradicated in order to defeat terrorism.
This carved a new direction in Jake’s life.
Following his service, Jake enrolled at the Stanford Graduate School of Business to gain the business acumen he would need to follow this new direction.
While at Stanford, Jake founded Nuru International to eradicate extreme poverty in the world’s most unstable, vulnerable regions to help end violent extremism.
Following graduation, he led a team within Nuru to create Nuru Kenya later that year and Nuru Ethiopia in 2013 – both resulting in successful “proof of concept” projects for the organization.
Nuru’s latest project is in far northeast Nigeria in former Islamic State West Africa Province and Boko Haram caliphate territory. Since 2009, Nuru has impacted over 130,000 people – empowering them to lift themselves out of extreme poverty.
From 2017-2019, Jake helped draft, introduce and work to pass groundbreaking new legislation called the Global Fragility Act of 2019 that will equip America with new authorities and resources to prevent conflict and stabilize some of the most fragile regions of the world that pose a growing threat to U.S. and global security.
Mónica Ramirez – Justice For Migrant Women
Mónica is an activist, attorney, and the founder of the nonprofit Justice For Migrant Women, co-founder of the Latinx House, and founding principal of She Se Puede.
For over two decades, she has fought for the civil and human rights of women, children, workers, Latinos/as and immigrants.
You may know Mónica as the woman who wrote the ‘’Dear Sisters’ open letter to the women of Hollywood from farmworker women that sparked the TIME’S UP movement.
Consistently able to strike a meaningful chord, in 2019 she organized the ‘Querida Familia’ letter that appeared in the New York Times with 200 artists, activists, labor and civil rights leaders signing to support a letter of love and solidarity to the Latino community following the El Paso shooting and ICE Raids.
As part of her work with Justice for Migrant Women, Mónica has worked alongside leaders in Washington to introduce numerous pieces of legislation (among them the BE HEARD Act and The CARE Act).
Having received numerous accolades for her smart, effective activism she was awarded the 2019 MAFO Lifetime Achievement Award and in 2020 was chosen as one of the few US citizens to receive the inaugural and prestigious Ford Global Fellowship to connect and support the next generation of social justice leaders who are advancing innovative solutions to end inequality.
This supports her key focus for the year building power among rural communities and ensuring everyone’s voice is heard this pivotal election year.
Shelly Bell – Black Girl Ventures(BGV)
Black Girl Ventures mission is to provide Black/Brown woman-identifying founders with access to community, capital, and capacity building in order to meet business milestones that lead to economic advancement through entrepreneurship.
Shelly is among the nation’s most sought-after transformational speakers in the DC Metro area with features in Forbes, Fast Company, The Washington Business Journal, NewsOne, Entrepreneur Mag, People of Color in Tech and on Politico Live.
Her organization, Black Girl Ventures (BGV) is a culturally converging ecosystem igniting economic security, civic engagement, and hyperlocal infrastructure at the
intersection of STEM education and entrepreneurship for Black and Brown woman-identifying founders, funders, and veterans.
Since 2016, BGV has funded 130 women, increased access to social capital for 180 program participants and launched their efforts in 10 cities.
As a one of 8 original Google Coaches across the nation and an Ecosystem Builder, she engages audiences from grassroots to government. Through
Shelly’s Resist Average Relationships (R.A.R) Method she is teaching intrapreneurs, entrepreneurs, and wantrepreneurs how to hold the ladder for others and/or how to find the person they need to hold the ladder toward moving to the next level of success.
She has trained over 5,000 entrepreneurs, held over 300 events for empowering leaders, managed multi-million dollar contracts, and helped to scale over 200 businesses.
Rodolfo “Rudy” Reyes – Force Blue
A veteran of both Iraq and Afghanistan, Rudy served with distinction as a member of the United States Marine Corps illustrious 1st Reconnaissance Battalion and played himself in HBO’s Generation Kill, a miniseries based on the bestselling book by Rolling Stone reporter Evan Wright.
A graduate of the Marine Corps Combatant Diving, Scout/Sniper and Search, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) schools, Rudy has worked as a counter-terror contractor for the Department of Defense, trained African wildlife preserver rangers in anti-poaching techniques and, most recently, appeared in National Geographic Channel’s Ultimate Survival Alaska.
Rudy is the author of Hero Living, which chronicles his warrior philosophy and teaches others how to follow it.
Rudy is also the co-founder of FORCE BLUE. The organization’s mission is to unite the community of Special Operations veterans with the world of marine conservation for the betterment of both.
FORCE BLUE is the only nonprofit organization in the world that provides “mission therapy” for former combat divers — individuals in whom governments around the world have invested millions to create the best possible underwater and maritime operators — by retraining, retooling and deploying them on missions of conservation, preservation and restoration.
By uniting the community of Special Operations veterans with the world of marine science and conservation in one, mission-focused program, FORCE BLUE has created a model of caring, cooperation and positive change with the power to restore lives and restore the planet.
Abigail Dillen – Earthjustice
Earthjustice is the premier nonprofit public interest environmental law organization. It wields the power of law and the strength of partnership to protect people’s health, to preserve magnificent places and wildlife, to advance clean energy, and to combat climate change.
Abigail Dillen is the President of Earthjustice, leading the organization’s staff, board and supporters to advance our mission of using the courts to protect our environment and people’s health. She is based at headquarters in San Francisco, California.
Before stepping into her current role, Abigail served as the Vice President of Litigation for Climate & Energy, heading the organization’s litigation and legal advocacy to achieve the essential shift from fossil fuels to 100% clean energy.
Abbie has litigated many precedent-setting cases that have held polluters accountable and cleared the way for clean energy nationally.
These wins include: requiring the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to promulgate first-ever standards to govern disposal of coal ash and limit the wastewater discharge of toxic pollutants from coal-fired power plants; blocking a $2 billion transmission project to transport dirty coal energy from the Ohio Valley to East Coast cities; blocking permits for new coal-fired power plants; and cutting off federal funding of new coal plants.
Matine Khalighi – EEqual
Beyond his academic pursuits, Matine’s fervor lies in lending a hand to those less fortunate. The spark ignited during his involvement in the “Building a Better Community Class” back in eighth grade, which propelled him to embark on a more impactful journey.
This inspiration led to the establishment of the nonprofit Helping the Homeless Colorado, a youth-driven 501(c)(3) organization, in 2016.
In his role as the Executive Director, Matine played a pivotal role in shaping the organization, fostering a teen-led board of directors committed to making transformative changes for those in dire straits within Colorado.
His initiative has facilitated the distribution of over 50,000 essential items to homeless individuals across the state, the provision of more than $15,000 in scholarships for homeless students pursuing associates degrees, and the launch of a statewide social campaign featured on live television.
In June 2020, Matine spearheaded a complete rebranding and transformation of Helping Homeless Colorado into EEqual, a 501(c)3 youth-driven nonprofit dedicated to supporting students experiencing poverty and homelessness.
Matine Khalighi is no stranger to recognition, having been honored with the Presidents Volunteer Service Award on three occasions.
He’s also a compelling TEDx speaker and a prominent leader in the Ashoka Young Changemakers program. His efforts have caught the attention of various media outlets including Colorado and Company, Denver Voice, 5280 Magazine, The Denver Post, and PR Newswire.
EEqual stands as a youth-centric 501(c)3 nonprofit, working tirelessly to counteract the detrimental effects of economic inequality on students facing poverty.
Their mission is powered by targeted youth-driven programs, with the ultimate goal of making a substantial difference in the lives of these students.
Jess Posner Odede – Girl Effect
Jess Posner Odede is the CEO of Girl Effect, an international non-profit that builds media that girls want, trust and need – from chatbots to chatshows and TV dramas to tech. Girl Effect’s content helps girls make choices and changes in their lives so they can be in control of their health, learning and livelihood.
An internationally recognised social entrepreneur and thought-leader, Jess has been CEO of Girl Effect since 2019.
Jess is an inspiring leader with a unique track record of leading an organisation to scale. Before Girl Effect, she co-founded Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO) in Kenya, providing critical services, community advocacy platforms, and education for girls and women living in urban slums.
She established SHOFCO alongside her husband, Kennedy Odede, who she met while spending time living in Kibera – the largest slum in Africa.
Kennedy was a local community leader and, together with Jess, they spent 12 years building the organization to over 600 employees, in 9 geographies, improving the lives of more than 250,000 people across Kenya.
In 2018, they became the youngest organisation to be awarded the Hilton Humanitarian Prize.
Kasha Sequoia Slavner – The Global Sunrise Project
The Global Sunrise Project, is a youth-led social enterprise which creates award-winning positive impact media. It was founded at the age of 14 by Gen-Z filmmaker/photographer & social entrepreneur Kasha Sequoia Slavner.
It uses its storytelling platform to conduct educational outreach, screenings, exhibitions & workshops to empower youth to make a positive impact in their local or global community and take action on the Sustainable Development Goals.
Kasha Sequoia Slavner is a Gen-Z, multi-award-winning documentary filmmaker who comes to the profession as a seasoned photographer, social entrepreneur and social justice advocate for over a decade.
She was 8 when she first started her social justice journey and only 16 years old when she set out across the world for six months to make her first feature documentary The Sunrise Storyteller. She completed it upon returning to high school.
Using her passion for visual storytelling to make the world a better place, she was selected as the recipient of the very first Kim Phuc Youth Award for Peace.
In addition, Kasha was selected for the class of 2017 Global Teen Leaders by legendary music producer Nile Rodgers’ We Are Family Foundation & TEDxTeen and was also selected into the inaugural cohort of the We Global Learning Centre’s social entrepreneurship program.
In 2018 she was chosen by Yunus & Youth as one of their Fellows and in 2019 selected by Global Changemakers to join their cohort. Most recently this committed changemaker became a Diana Award Holder, for sustaining positive social change in the memory of Diana, Princess of Wales.
In 2019 Kasha was chosen to be part of the inaugural launch of projects selected for the Voices of SDG16+ at the United Nations High Level Political Forum.
That same year, Kasha spoke to over 750+ students at the United Nations for The International Day of Peace Student Observance on the topic of climate & peace.
Kasha is passionate about empowering youth civic engagement and developed a workshop “A GenZ’s Guide to Creating Social Change” to accompany screenings of her feature film about taking action as a global citizen.
Brandon Freeny and Ramon Robinson – Positivity Pays
Even in this digital age, where substance is seemingly less preferred. Being a beacon of hope is still an amazing avenue to make a living and fulfill your purpose. Just ask the team of trailblazers doing it.
\What merely started as an idea, Positivity Pays has emerged as a highly respected and influential South Florida based organization designed to improve the conditions of their community.
It all began when serial entrepreneur Brandon Freeny, known for being involved in innovative and creative projects began assisting the multi talented community leader, author, mentor and recording artist Ramon “Absoloot” Robinson.
In just a few years of hard work, here are some of their impressive accomplishments:
- Best selling authors on Amazon.
- Walmart, NFL and Facebook Grant Recipients.
- Historical trading cards archived at the prominent African American Research Library in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
- Over 800 thousand streams on Spotify and 20 million plays on Soundcloud.
- 103.5 The Beat, “Beat Blazers” recipients as community leaders.
- Worked on projects with: The Boys and Girls Club, YMCA, Museum of Discovery and Science, AVDA and The Westside Gazette.
The Positivity Pays foundation (PPF) focuses on improving one America’s biggest problems… literacy.
Their programming focuses on foundational, media and financial literacy as a way to solve many of the problems that exist in various communities.
The mission is to produce an effective platform that creatively promotes education, positive messaging and economic stability.
A platform specifically designed to combat miseducation, poverty and the negative programming our community is bombarded with on a consistent basis.
The PPF imagines a future where lives are positively affected and false narratives are changed by providing fact based engaging information.
Tom O’Keefe – Stride for Stride
Tom O’Keefe stands as the visionary behind Stride for Stride, an impactful running initiative that secures race bibs for immigrant, BIPOC, and low-income runners, fostering inclusivity and opportunity.
In the realm of Boston, Tom is renowned as Bostontweet, the brain behind a popular social media account initiated in 2008.
His intention was to shed light on local businesses during the recession, generating awareness and support.
In 2015, Tom took his passion for giving to another level by founding Flutter, an altruistic platform designed to craft local experiences for charitable causes. People would contribute $10 for a chance to win these experiences, fostering a cycle of giving and receiving.
More recently, in response to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Tom introduced Heart to Cart.
This program focuses on purchasing supermarket gift cards, extending a helping hand to those who have been hardest hit during these trying times. Through his diverse initiatives, Tom O’Keefe continues to make a tangible difference in the lives of many.
Stef Stanley and Liz Stone – OK Mentor
Stef Stanley is the co-founder and CEO of Ok Mentor, a free training and mentoring program for young women looking to break into the creative industries. She helps set the vision for the company, and how Ok Mentor delivers against its promise of helping more women succeed faster.
Stef is passionate about uplifting women, and facilitating safe places where they can help each other grow – both creatively and professionally.
Outside of Ok Mentor, she currently works at LinkedIn’s advertising division, helping brands like Amazon and Intel drive business growth through inspirational marketing campaigns.
Liz Stone is co-founder and CMO of Ok Mentor. Liz is on a mission to help build female talent around the world.
Her belief is that if all women passed down their knowledge to future generations, they would have a greater chance at career success and moving into senior leadership positions.
The mission of OK Mentor is to influence the global economy of female talent by helping more women succeed faster.
The organization provides free training and mentorship to young females looking to break into creative fields.
The programme teaches practical business skills and personal development for self-starting, ambitious individuals who want to establish themselves as a freelancer, employee or business owner.
Cheryl L. Dorsey – Echoing Green
Cheryl L. Dorsey is a trailblazer in the social entrepreneurship movement, and the president of Echoing Green, a global nonprofit that supports emerging social entrepreneurs and invests deeply in their ideas and leadership.
Prior to leading Echoing Green, Cheryl was a social entrepreneur herself and received an Echoing Green Fellowship in 1992 to help launch The Family Van, a community-based mobile health unit in Boston. She became the first Echoing Green Fellow to head the social venture fund in 2002.
An accomplished leader and entrepreneur, she has served in two presidential administrations as a White House Fellow and Special Assistant to the U.S. Secretary of Labor (1997-98); Special Assistant to the Director of the Women’s Bureau of the U.S. Labor Department (1998-99); and Vice Chair for the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships (2009-2017).
Cheryl serves on several boards including The Bridgespan Group, Skoll Foundation, Oak Street Health and Northeast Bank and, previously, the Harvard Board of Overseers.
She has a medical degree from Harvard Medical School, a master’s in public policy from Harvard Kennedy School, and a bachelor’s degree in history and science magna cum laude with highest honors from Harvard-Radcliffe Colleges.
Cheryl is a frequent speaker on racial justice and equity in philanthropy. She has advocated for equitable funding for leaders of color on panels organized by The Stanford Social Innovation Review, Skoll World Forum, The World Economic Forum, and more.
In 2020, Cheryl co-authored a research report in partnership with The Bridgespan Group, Racial Equity and Philanthropy: Disparities in Funding for Leaders of Color Leave Impact on the Table.
Cheryl has received numerous awards for her commitment to public service, including the Pfizer Roerig History of Medicine Award, the Robert Kennedy Distinguished Public Service Award, the Manuel C. Carballo Memorial Prize, and Middlebury College Center for Social Entrepreneurship’s Vision Award.
She was also featured as one of “America’s Best Leaders” by US News & World Report and the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard Kennedy School in 2009, one of The Nonprofit Times’ “Power and Influence Top 50” in 2010 and 2011, one of “America’s Top 25 Philanthropy Speakers” by the Business of Giving in 2016, and has been a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences since 2017.
In 2019, Cheryl was named a Schwab Foundation Social Innovation Thought Leader.
Georges Clement – JustFix.nyc
Georges Clement is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of JustFix.nyc, a nonprofit that supports tenants facing harassment and poor housing conditions with technology to build well-documented cases and connect with community and legal advocates.
He was a Cheng Fellow and Kennedy Fellow, receiving his Master’s Degree in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School.
Previously, Georges was a Fellow with Blue Ridge Labs @ the Robin Hood Foundation and a Product Manager at General Assembly, leading the expansion of GA’s Business programs around the world.
He is a New Yorker with a BA in Sociology and African Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and has been selected as a Forbes 30 Under 30 in Law & Policy, World Economic Forum Global Shaper, and American Express Emerging Innovator.
JustFix.nyc is a NYC-based nonprofit that builds tools for tenants and advocates fighting displacement.
The mission is to galvanize a 21st century tenant movement working towards housing for all — and we think the power of data and technology should be accessible to those fighting this fight.
The vision of the organization is to provide tools that make it easier for tenants to know and exercise their rights.
In the past year, we have successfully served over 20,000 tenants, helping to prevent wrongful evictions, secure necessary repairs, and inform tenants of their rights.
Ana Dodson – Peruvian Hearts Foundation
The Peruvian Hearts Foundation works to end poverty and gender inequality by educating young women and creating community leaders in Peru—one girl at a time.
Ana was adopted as an infant in 1992 from Cusco, Peru, she returned to her birth country for the first time as an 11-year-old in 2003. Deeply moved by the poverty she witnessed, Ana decided to take action as soon as she returned home to Colorado.
At age 11, Ana founded Peruvian Hearts as a grassroots 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit organization. Her story drew national attention and the recognition she received helped establish a network of support for Peruvian Hearts.
Ana was selected as a CNN Hero in 2007 and named one of People Magazine’s Heroes Among Us in 2008.
At age 17, she spoke at the UN Headquarters in New York on the International Day of Peace and in 2009 at age 18 received a Caring Award and was inducted into the Caring Hall of Fame in Washington, D.C.
Her story has been shared in publications such as National Geographic for Kids, Time for Kids, and two children’s books have been authored about her inspiring story.
Peruvian Hearts and Ana’s story were featured in the 2014 documentary film about Archbishop, Desmond Tutu, Children of the Light.
Aly Murray – UPchieve
Aly Murray is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of UPchieve, an edtech nonprofit helping low-income students access live academic support any time they need it. She’s a proud Latina, math nerd, and community college grad.
After earning an associate’s degree, Aly transferred to the University of Pennsylvania where she graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Mathematics.
Her personal experience as a low-income student drives her to fight for educational equity and work towards a world in which all students have an equal opportunity to achieve upward mobility.
In her free time, Aly volunteers as a tutor on UPchieve and as a college coach with Breakthrough New York to help other low-income students succeed.
UPchieve is the first and only edtech nonprofit leveraging technology to provide low-income students in the U.S. with free, on-demand tutoring and college counseling.
Eligible students can use UPchieve’s online platform to request help and get paired with a certified volunteer in just a few minutes. UPchieve is available 24/7 from any device and currently offers 13 help topics spanning math tutoring, science tutoring, and college counseling.
So far, UPchieve has matched over 5,000 requests for on-demand support from students across 48 states. UPchieve’s long-term vision is to democratize access to academic support and ensure more low-income students achieve upward mobility.
Skyler Badenoch – Hope for Haiti
Skyler Badenoch is the Chief Executive Officer of Hope for Haiti, an organization that works to improve the quality of life for the Haitian people, particularly children.
Hope for Haiti currently serves thousands of children, parents, and grandparents in Southern Haiti through direct investments in education, healthcare, water, infrastructure, and the economy.
Mr. Badenoch joined Hope for Haiti in 2017, and has been a supporter since 2008. Under his leadership, the organization hopes to double the number of children it reaches through its programming.
With cash resources just under $5 million in 2016, Badenoch’s signature issues at Hope for Haiti will include education and learning outcomes, infrastructure development, social business investment, expansion of a clean water portfolio, and monitoring and evaluation.
Prior to joining Hope for Haiti, Mr. Badenoch worked for buildOn, where he spent 10 years managing participatory school construction programs in Haiti, Nicaragua, and Malawi.
During that time, he helped raise more than $10 million to support global education and the construction of more than 500 schools in rural villages in the developing world. Badenoch now serves as a global board member at buildOn, where he advises senior leadership on key partnerships and development.
Badenoch was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Cote d’Ivoire, and he received an undergraduate degree in Economics at the University of Arizona, and a Master’s degree in International Development Studies at the George Washington University.
Hope for Haiti has emerged as one of the most trusted non-profit organizations working to improve the quality of life for the Haitian people, particularly children, in southern Haiti.
The organization’s team and network of partners provide people with better access to education, healthcare, water, and economic development opportunities.
Hope for Haiti is a 4-star charity by Charity Navigator and a participant at the Platinum Level through the GuideStar Exchange, two leading independent evaluators recognizing the organization’s transparency and careful stewardship of donor resources.
Alex Kotran, Ora D. Tanner, and Ehrik Aldana – AIEDU
AIEDU is a 501(c)(3) tech nonprofit working to center equity and accessibility in AI education. AIEDU educates students—especially those who are disproportionately impacted by AI systems—with the conceptual knowledge and skills they need to thrive as workers, creators, consumers, and citizens.
The organization quietly launched with pilots in Ohio and Florida this Spring, and has since scaled to reach nearly 3,000 students across 6 states.
The AI Education Project is funded by companies including Google, Intel, Akamai, American Tower, Macy’s, Postmates, GitHub, The J.M. Smucker Co. and Booz Allen Hamilton; our advisory board includes senior leaders from Carnegie Mellon (AI4K12), Stanford, Disney, Nike, Microsoft, and the U.S. Air Force.
AIEDU was a semifinalist in the University of Pennsylvania’s Education Business Plan Competition and was selected to join the prestigious FastForward Tech Nonprofit Accelerator’s class of 2020.
Alex Kotran, Co-Founder & President
Alex is the co-founder and President of the AI Education Project, a 501(c)(3) tech nonprofit that is working to make AI literacy curriculum easily accessible to students across the country—especially those disproportionately impacted by AI and automation.
The AI Education Project launched in the Spring of 2020—in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic—with remote learning programs in Ohio and Florida.
So far, The AI Education Project has partnered with 30+ schools and education partners across 5 states to provide engaging, digital curricula to over 2,500 students (the majority of whom are from Title I schools or low income) – all during the COVID pandemic.
Their work has received financial support from both inside and outside of the tech sector by Fortune 500 companies and other technology leaders. This past year, The AI Education Project also participated in the prestigious Fast Forward Accelerator for tech nonprofits.
Alex is a serial entrepreneur, who also helped to launch The Future Society, a 501(c)(3) think tank originally founded at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
The Future Society is recognized as one of the leading AI think tanks in the world, and works with the OECD, the UN, World Bank, European Commission, Council of Europe, and other intergovernmental organizations to broaden engagement with stakeholders in the development of AI policy, standards, and regulation.
In addition to his work co-leading The AI Education Project, Alex is an advisor to North Base Media, the venture capital firm founded by Marcus Brauchli, the former Executive Editor of the Washington Post; and H5, the top AI-powered legal discovery provider.
Ora D. Tanner, Co-Founder & Chief Learning Officer
Ora oversees instructional design and development of the AI Education Project’s curricula including AI-related lesson plans, projects, activities, and training materials for classroom implementation by teachers.
She conducts pedagogical and design research, teacher professional development, educator community building, vetting and curation of AI resources, and is currently strategizing implementation of AI curriculum in the southeast United States.
Ora has 12 years classroom experience as a science educator and is wrapping up her PhD in Instructional Technology and Educational Measurement at the University of South Florida. She recently completed a fellowship at the Aspen Institute Tech Policy Hub in San Francisco.
Ehrik Aldana, Co-Founder & Chief Operating Officer
Ehrik manages and coordinates the AI Education Project’s programmatic work, focusing primarily on K-12. In his role, he liaises directly with education partners on the ground, surveys classrooms, and engages with the AI Education Project’s broader network of advisors to collate feedback and guide both content and strategy.
Ehrik previously worked as a Research Fellow at the Center for Innovation at UC Hastings College of Law. He graduated with a B.A. in Political Science from Yale.
George M. Tsiatis – Resolution Project
George Tsiatis assumes the role of CEO & Co-Founder at the Resolution Project. Since its inception, George has been a dynamic force within the organization, contributing to the co-development of the Social Venture Challenge, spearheading the design of the Guides program, and envisioning the upcoming Resolution Institute and SOLVE Summit.
As President and a member of the Executive Committee of the Board, he has provided leadership to the Operations and Programs Committees. George is also a dedicated Guide, offering mentorship to multiple Fellows.
Before taking the helm at Resolution, George played an integral role in establishing and growing Group 113, a certified B Corp known for delivering branding and marketing services to impact-focused entities. He served as the Managing Director of the company for over a decade.
Throughout his journey, George has also been actively involved in launching various entrepreneurial endeavors.
His career began at a prominent New York City public relations firm. Beyond his professional commitments, George contributes to the boards of the Hellenic University Club of New York and the Kew-Forest School.
The Resolution Project stands at the forefront of nurturing socially conscious leadership and collaboration among driven young individuals worldwide.
Through a distinctive blend of crowd-sourcing, mentorship, and funding, Resolution has fostered a community that tackles some of the most pressing global challenges.
By uniting these diverse and talented minds, Resolution empowers young leaders to initiate positive and lasting transformations across the globe.
Thom Scher – Beyond Type 1
Thom is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Beyond Type 1. Prior to becoming CEO, he served for three years as COO. Before Before Type 1 he was responsible for building global brand and content initiatives at wikiHow.
He earned his undergraduate degree in Political Science from Stanford University, ran an award-nominated public relations firm in San Francisco.
Beyond Type 1 is a nonprofit organization changing what it means to live with diabetes. Through platforms, programs, resources, and grants, Beyond Type 1 is uniting the global diabetes community and providing solutions to improve lives today.
Founded in 2015, Beyond Type 1 has grown to also include programs for those with Type 2 diabetes. A new model of philanthropy, Beyond Type 1 aims to change what it means to live with chronic illness.
In 2020, Beyond Type 1 rose to the challenge of serving the diabetes community during the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis with several critical new programs:
- The launch of CoronavirusDiabetes.org provides public health guidance specific to people with diabetes in unprecedented times. The campaign brings together over 150 diabetes organizations and companies and has reached over 100 million on web and social.
- A new tool, GetInsulin.org, was created to make sure everyone in need of insulin can get connected to the access options available to them. Beyond Type 1 partnered with numerous high profile nonprofits — including Feeding America, the NAACP, and the American Diabetes Association — to get this new tool to those in need. GetInsulin.org is helping thousands every week access life-sustaining medication.
- And in 2021, Beyond Type 1 has plans to bring awareness to the challenges of the diabetes community at a global scale.