Atlas Crops is an amazing global leadership development program, the dream of every social change leader to become a part of. So far Atlas Crops brought 500 fellows from 79 countries to United States, Australia and Columbia served and serving in different host organizations. I still remember the day when I saw its website and went through the profiles of the current fellows, an amazing talent from around the world, while looking at their smiling faces I dreamed to become an Atlas Crops fellow. I applied and was anxious to get this opportunity. It was difficult to wait, it’s very competitive program so finally within 10 months I got the good news that I fulfilled my dream of becoming an Atlas Corps fellow.
It was a great pleasure to be an Atlas Corps fellow for one year in Washington DC but at the same time it was so hard to leave my comfort zone in Pakistan. Being an elder son of my parents and responsible for family income it was a toughest decision to resign from my job at U.N, leave behind my country, friends and family. On the one hand, I had all these sweet belongings and on the other hand – Atlas Corps, which was my dream, a motivation for social change, and an opportunity to further polish my crude experience, a hope to change the world. I found many other sub dreams in my dream which became the biggest motivation for me to leave everything behind for one year and grab the ever-green opportunity because “talent is universal but opportunity is not” the quote that I heard many times during this fellowship and which is a truth.
The initial few months were critical, being in the new environment and culture. At the same time, it was exciting being in the US and a proud Atlas Corps fellow. On the first day of our orientation at Atlas Corps when I met with the class 21 family and Atlas Corps staff I was feeling more proud as if I was the luckiest person among the hundreds and thousands of social change leaders. We were also declared to be one of the best classes ever including poets, dancers, DJ’s and comedians as Atlas Corps brought together 23 fellows from 14 countries, 9 ethnicities and 5 religions under one roof especially the ever first fellow from Cuba, wow! Later we met with other fellows in May 2016 Global Leadership Lab (GLL), the most charming, loving and incredible humans in the world.
We mingled with one another, forming a global family, we started enjoying the most entertaining events, parties, conferences, seminars, social, cultural and religious events together and these are the few among all opportunities where fellows can share, learn and build network.
I have been into the fellowship for almost half a year now. As the fellowship goes on, we come through another stage in Atlas Corps fellowship, the graduation ceremonies where fellows from senior class are successfully completing their one year in U.S and going back to their home countries. This event is very exciting, seeing your fellow fellows graduating and going for a noble cause to change the world but at the same time graduation breaks our fellows’ family in U.S because we miss each other.
Atlas Corps knew this earlier so it has developed an alumni network since the inception that connects all the previous alumnus, current fellows and future fellows and Atlas Corps staff with each other forever, where they share their knowledge, experience, skills and opportunities with each other.
Atlas Corps fellows are not just fellows; they are making a strong bond of oneness and association where they connect for the whole life. They think and work together to solve the world’s critical social issues to make the world a better place.
Bonus: To change the world, first one need to change his/herself and Atlas Crops, you did that. You changed my way of thinking, behaving, acting and working. Thank you, Atlas Corps!