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Class 6: March 2011 Atlas Corps Fellows

Andrés Martínez García, 27, Bogotá, Colombia

Andrés has four years of experience working with nonprofit social organizations. He holds a Postgraduate Degree in Conflict Resolution from Javeriana University and a Master of Arts in Gender and Peacebuilding from the United Nations-mandated University for Peace in Costa Rica. Andrés has participated extensively in movements advocating international disarmament, disability rights, and nonviolent action and peacebuilding. In particular, his work addresses the differential needs and circumstances of women, men, girls and boys during conflict, war, and humanitarian crises. Andrés is a certified psychologist and has provided psycho-social rehabilitation services for over 400 landmine survivors and other victims of violence. Additionally, he has worked in victim assistance for internally displaced persons and facilitated conflict resolution workshops for the reintegration of ex-combatants. Andres is particularly interested in conflict resolution, landmine removal, internal displacement, and the prevention of gender-based violence.

Host: International Peace and Security Institute

Anna Kolesnichenko, 25, St. Petersburg, Russia

Anna has five years of experience in the non-profit sector in Russia and abroad. In 2008, she obtained a Specialist's Degree in Social Psychology and a Master's Degree in English Translation. In 2010, Anna graduated from the International Studies Master programme of Saint-Petersburg State University with a focus on European Societies. During her studies at the university, Anna helped promote and conduct research for NGO social projects dealing with HIV/AIDS issues, as well as alcohol and drug abuse. This year, Anna interned with an Italian NGO where she provided psychological expertise and psychotherapy for child victims of commercial sexual exploitation. The Centre for German and European Studies has recently published Anna’s comparative analysis from her intern experience, which details the formation of social policy against commercial sexual exploitation in Russia and Italy.

Host: International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children

Becky (Rebecca) Nerima, 31, Kampala, Uganda

Becky has seven years of experience in the nonprofit sector and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Sciences, along with professional certificates in HIV/AIDS, Reproductive Health Rights, and Child Sexual Abuse. She is in the process of completing an online course in Human Development and Social Therapy from the East Side Institute in New York. As a project officer for the African Medical and Research Foundation, she coordinated and executed projects to train local communities on HIV/AIDS and SRH. Becky worked with youth, women, and sex workers to pioneer a community advocacy group for people infected with or affected by HIV/AIDS. Becky has also worked with GOAL Uganda as a program assistant. In this capacity, she trained youth in reproductive health and educated communities on child sexual abuse. Additionally, Becky volunteered as a National Focal Person with UNICEF/Rural Voices of Youth, where she trained youth in Uganda on leadership skills and sexual health rights. Through these experiences, Becky has gained in-depth knowledge on HIV/AIDS advocacy and the development, implementation, and evaluation of health and development projects.

Host: CORE Group

Blanca Peña, 29, Monterrey, Mexico

Blanca has five years of nonprofit experience promoting corporate social responsibility in Latin America. She has held a wide range of positions in this field, including international project coordinator, consultant, professor, and researcher. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM), and a Master’s Degree in Corporate Responsibility from ESERP Business School in Barcelona. Blanca has previously worked as Manager of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program at ITESM where she trained executives from around the world and collaborated with a multicultural team of colleagues to create the CSR strategy for an environmental organization in Spain. Blanca has also worked on educational projects to promote capacity-building for the disabled in order to provide social integration, and became the POETA Program Coordinator at Monterrey Tech in 2007. As an active member in disability and social integration associations, Blanca learned sign language and became an interpreter to the hearing-impaired. She has been a regular lecturer for companies concerning strategies to better integrate the disbaled into the workforce. During her career, Blanca has been chosen by several international organizations, including the Inter-American Development Bank and the UN Global Compact, to participate in conferences related to Corporate Social Responsibility.

Host: CentroNia

Carolina Escobar, 29, Manizales, Colombia

Carolina has over six years of experience in the nonprofit sector. She studied Systems Administration at the National University of Colombia where she focused on management development negotiation tools based on the Harvard Negotiation Method. Since 2006, Carolina has been a volunteer with Partners of the Americas, where she has worked in the business training program for young entrepreneurs of Colombia and led projects to develop competitiveness and leadership in the region. Through this work, Carolina has trained hundreds of young people in entrepreneurship, business creation, and business strategy. She believes that entrepreneurship is an essential instrument in the fight against unemployment and socioeconomic and gender inequality. Carolina has more than six years of work experience promoting ParqueSoft, a nonprofit organization that supports implementation of business acceleration models through its board and committee of entrepreneurship. ParqueSoft has been responsible for the birth of 32 companies led by 100 city youth, including Carolina's own company, SIES Soluciones. Carolina has also served as a spokeswoman for Colombia at the Forum of the OAS Civil Society.

Host: Partners of the Americas

Daniela Tort, 27, Querétaro, Mexico

Daniela has over four years of experience in the nonprofit sector working on the administration of social development projects at the local level. With a Bachelor's Degree in International Relations, she has led a variety of projects throughout Mexico to improve the efficiency and management of local government. Her research has helped promote public policies that ensure the adequate distribution of resources, and has assisted in identifying areas of poverty in rural and urban communities. As a result of her findings, Daniela has created projects aimed at correcting the distribution of resources and providing access to basic services to those in severe need. She currently works for the municipality of El Marqués, where she organizes fundraising to support local activities and promote equal opportunities for women. Additionally, Daniela has worked to decentralize services and policies by implementing projects from the federal to local level and promoting the social development of poor towns through national programs. She has also helped to start a new nonprofit organization called “Drink a Dream,” which supports heath, education and social development projects.

Host: Susan G. Komen for the Cure

Foluke Adetola Ogunyemi, 28, Lagos, Nigeria

Foluke has four years of experience in the nonprofit sector, and earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Microbiology from the University of Ibadan in Nigeria. While working as a Community Services Specialist with Management Sciences for Health in Nigeria under the USAID-funded HIV/AIDS program, she helped improve the health of rural dwellers living with HIV/AIDS in northern Nigeria. Previously, Foluke worked with a community-based organization to advance health education and promote adolescent reproductive health awareness. Foluke has volunteered as a peer educator on adolescent reproductive health for several groups, including UNICEF and the Center for HIV/AIDS in Nigeria. Through these experiences, she developed strong project coordination and implementation skills. Foluke enjoys focusing on the topics of maternal and child health, and has a strong passion for youth empowerment.

Host: Population Action International

Gbenga Ogunjimi, 29, Lagos Nigeria

Gbenga has ten years of experience in the nonprofit sector, where he has focused primarily on development. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in History and International Relations from Lagos State University. Gbenga is the founder of Landmark Internship International, an organization promoting volunteerism and entrepreneurship in Nigeria. Gbenga utilized Web 2.0, a form of social media, to advance enterprise development across the country. Through the Come to Africa Campaign, he has mobilized worldwide talents in Africa's for-profit and non-profit organizations to achieve global competitiveness. In 2007, he won the Global Young Social Entrepreneur's Competition in recognition of his efforts with the campaign. Gbenga has spoken at the Social Enterprise World Forum as well as the Global Peace Convention. He has been a consultant to the UN's Development Information Center Lagos Project, and has been a member of several social enterprise advisory boards.

Host: Atlas Corps

Innocent Onah, 30, Abuja, Nigeria

Innocent has four years of experience in the nonprofit sector. He holds a Bachelors degree in Agricultural Economics from Ahmadu Bello University in Nigeria, and a Masters of Science in Agriculture and Resource Management from the University of Bonn in Germany. Innocent has worked in various fields, ranging from humanitarian and disaster relief with the Nigerian and German Red Cross to rural development with Programme of Action for Health and Rural Development (PAHRD-Abuja). He also served as the Associate Impact Specialist for the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture-Sustainable Tree Crops Program (IITA-STCP) in Nigeria. Innocent has professional experience in natural resource management, food policy analysis, and environmental and energy efficiency. He has participated in numerous Model United Nations conferences such as the Committee on Sustainable Development (BIMUN-Bonn, Germany) and the Economic and Social Council (OxIMUN-Oxford, UK), from which he has acquired key international diplomatic skills. Innocent also served as Head of the European Student Delegation to the 2009 International Student Energy Summit (ISES-Calgary, Canada) and recently led a group of young energy entreprenuers in Nigeria. Innocent aims to positively impact lives by tackling energy poverty, food insecurity, and the effect of climate change on livelihoods in developing countries. He is a member of the International Association for Energy Economics (IAEE) and aspires to become a successful development expert.

Host: UN Foundation

May Kosba, 31, Cairo, Egypt

May has over four years of experience in the nonprofit sector and has worked in various capacities as fundraising consultant, grant proposal writer, trainer, and translator for a diverse list of organizations, including Da'am for Information Technology, Etijah, United Group Attorneys at Law & Human Rights Advocates, and several human rights agencies. May graduated from Ain Shams University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and received diplomas in Written Translation and NGO Institutions from the American University in Cairo. May has represented Egyptian youth in the U.S. on many occasions and has met with international officials including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. As part of a Freedom House and USAID fellowship program in Spring 2009, she delivered a speech at the International Solidarity Committee and was featured on the Voice of Americas website. May previously volunteered at Al Waref Institute in Washington, D.C. as the Egypt Coordinator. As a human rights activist and freelance writer, she writes about youth activism for changing behaviors and social norms.

Host: Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance (VEGA)

Mirette S Bahgat, 26, Giza, Egypt

Mirette has over five years of non-profit sector experience working in the field of community development in Egypt. She graduated from Cairo University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and is pursuing her Master's Degree in Professional Development at the American University in Cairo. Mirette started her career as a banker at HSBC bank in Egypt. In her spare time, Mirette devoted herself to community-based social work. She volunteered at an orphanage where she employed games and experiments to teach English and science using an interactive approach. Mirette later volunteered as a facilitator with ILO-Cairo on the SCREAM project, which supports child rights through education, arts, and the media. Mirett’s enriching experience with this project led to a life-changing decision to devote her career to community development. Mirette is currently working as a non-formal education coordinator  and youth educator at Alwan Wa Awtar NGO, an arts-for-development organization situated in rural Cairo.

Host: Earth Conservation Corps

Sally Salem, 33, Cairo, Egypt

Sally has ten years of experience in the nonprofit sector in the area of non-formal education and development. She graduated from Ain Shams University with a BA in English Literature & Language and completed a diploma in Human Resource Management from the American University in Egypt. For the past five years, she has worked with adults and young people on issues ranging from youth participation, volunteering, intercultural learning, and human rights education. Sally has also been contracted by both local and international NGOs, including EuroMed Youth Programme, Council of Europe, and Nahdet El Mahrousa, to design and conduct specialized training courses. She is the author of a publication on international volunteering between Europe and the Arab Mediterranean for the Support and Advanced Learning and Training Opportunities Resource Centre (SALTO). Sally feels blessed to be doing what she is passionate about: working with people, exploring different cultures, and advancing development.

Host: Grameen Foundation

Sudeshna Mukherjee, 29, New Delhi, India

Sudeshna has over five years of experience in the nonprofit sector, working across such organizations as Oxfam India, the Resource Alliance, the Make-A-Wish Foundation of India, and GIVE India. Sudeshna received a Master's degree in Social Work from Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai in 2005. In addition, she is a Post-Graduate in the Certified Fundraising program, conducted by the Resource Alliance and S.P. Jain Institute of Management and Research, where she stood first in academic ranking. Sudeshna began her career in program management at GIVE India and gradually transitioned to implementing effective fundraising and donor stewardship strategies for corporations, news media, and high net-worth individuals. In her last assignment with Oxfam India, Sudeshna focused on new business development, retention of existing corporate donors, and ethical evaluation of companies prior to public association. This position gave Sudeshna insight on Oxfam affiliates and international policy-making in different countries. In 2008, Sudeshna received recognition for her work with the Pareto Bursary and attended the 8th International Workshop on Resource Mobilization in Kuala Lumpur. In her free time, Sudeshna volunteers as a country ambassador for Showcase of Fundraising Innovation and Inspiration (SOFII) in India, where she educates others on the state of fundraising in India.

Host: Global Giving

Takawira Kapikinyu, 29, Harare, Zimbabwe

Takawira has seven years of experience in the nonprofit sector. He has earned several degrees, including a Postgraduate Diploma in Project Planning and Management, and a Master of Science in Rural and Urban Planning from the University of Zimbabwe. As a university student, Takawira was an active member of the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace Zimbabwe and a representative to the Students Representative Council for his faculty. He also interned with Development Associates Consultants and has worked for the Jesuit Refugee Service as a Project Officer. Most recently, Takawira worked as an Associate Researcher with Gender and Rural Development Consultants (GERUDE), where he provided consultancy services to many NGOs and development agencies. At GERUDE he gained vast experience in project planning and management, monitoring and evaluation, and report writing. He is currently the vice president of the Proudly Zimbabwean Trust Zimbabwe Chapter.

Host: Refugees International

Yaw Adu-Gyamfi, 30, Kumasi, Ghana

Yaw has four years of experience in the nonprofit sector and graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Computer Science from the Catholic University of Ghana and is pursuing his Master’s Degree in Governance and Sustainable Development at the University of Cape Coast. In 2006, Yaw worked at the Ghana Education Service, where he trained personnel in educational software applications and managed a database of 2,000 students. Additionally, Yaw managed skills training programs in basic computing and auto-diagnostics at Suame Magazine, an industrial cluster of 200,000 artisans engaged in vehicle repair, metal casting, welding and fabrication in Kumasi, while facilitating strategic collaborations among the private sector, academia, and government to strengthen skills and business development initiatives. As SpanAfrica’s Regional Director for Ghana, Yaw coordinates programs to achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s). Yaw is a member of the Pan-African Competitiveness Forum (PACF), which works to strengthen the competitiveness of African countries through shared best practices and efficient cluster management.

Host: CentroNia

Melat Tekletsadik, 31, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Melat has seven years of experience in the nonprofit sector and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting from Addis Ababa University. As Executive Director of the Young Women Christian Association (YWCA) of Ethiopia, she has developed new programs in the areas of economic empowerment, girls' education, reproductive health (including HIV/AIDS), and youth leadership development. Under Melat's leadership, the YWCA has greatly expanded, doubling in staff and opening two branch offices in Oromiya and Amhara regional states. Through her representation of the YWCA in official forums and conferences, Melat has also enabled the establishment of new local, regional, and international partnerships. Melat expresses a passion for women's empowerment and seeks to work in an organization that improves the lives of society’s most vulnerable members.

Host: Global Kids

Windy Previl, 27, Cap-Haitian, Haiti

Windy has over three years of experience in the nonprofit sector and graduated from the State University of Haiti. He taught for five years as an ESL professor at Saint Francois Xavier Community School and other education centers. Windy also volunteered as a mentor for the U.S. Embassy's English Language Program and the College Horizons Outreach Program. Additionally, he has actively participated in community service in his hometown of Cap-Haitian. In 2009, Windy founded a nonprofit organization called “Youth Education Seekers” (Y.E.S.), which helps to provide education for children and young people in the community who cannot afford it. Through Y.E.S., Windy has directed efforts to reduce hunger and poverty and fight against child abuse. This year, he was chosen by the U.S. Embassy in Haiti to speak as a panelist about volunteerism on Martin Luther King Day. Windy is also a radio broadcaster at Radio Nirvana 97.3, the largest radio station in the region.

Host: American Jewish World Service

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Scott Beale, The Founder and CEO

Scott Beale is the founder of Atlas Service Corps and an experienced social entrepreneur who has started three citizen sector organizations and helped... Read more..


Gbenga Ogunjimi, 29, Lagos Nigeria

Gbenga has ten years of experience in the nonprofit sector, where he has focused primarily on development. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in History and International... Read more..


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