As a way to promote the incredible work our Host Organizations are doing and to spread the word of the substantial impact Atlas Corps Fellows has on their teams, we are sharing a short feature on Halcyon and their experience with Atlas Corps, and their Fellow, Huma (Pakistan) 

Host Organization: Halcyon

Halcyon seeks and celebrates creativity in all forms and galvanizes creative individuals aspiring to promote social good. We bring together diverse groups of changemakers in art and social enterprise and provide a safe haven for their bold ideas to take flight. Halcyon offers an ecosystem of advocacy that encourages socially engaged creatives to learn, freely experiment, sometimes fail, and advance their talents and visions. In doing so, we foster new pathways to knowledge and resources and help innovators transform their inspiration into impact.

Fellow: Huma Imdad (Pakistan, Class 30)

At Atlas Corps, we have a tradition of stating our “Five Facts” when introducing ourselves to new people. What are your five facts?

Name: Huma Imdad

Hometown: Peshawar, Pakistan

Role at Organization: Program Coordinator

Social Issue/Interest Area: Quality education for all

Fun fact: I am the biggest Harry Potter fan ever (I carry all the books on my phone and all the movies on my laptop at all times)

What is your role at your Host-Organization?

I support the Halcyon Incubator Intensive program, coordinating with sponsor organizations, building a program for visiting social entrepreneurs from around the globe, helping grow their capabilities through skill-building and mentoring, and publicizing their activities. More broadly, I work on Halcyon’s international expansion and identification of future sponsors for international programming. This includes both countries of interest and potential sponsor organizations. Our goal is to grow social enterprise ecosystems around the world.

How has your experience with your Host-Organization impacted your perspective? What has the organization taught you?

To be the best! Simple as that! Halcyon has taught me to love my job, to help change lives, and to be a part of an organization which is trying its best to save the world, in style 😉.

How has your experience with your supervisor impacted your perspective? What has your supervisor taught you?

My supervisor is one of the best public speakers in the world. He is more than a supervisor. I have found a friend in him and a mentor. In a room full of all the important people in the world, where I start feeling small, Josh starts talking and I know that everything will turn out great. He has taught me to be a much stronger person than when I first came here. I was doing great things back home, but it was in my own comfort zone – a very different environment from Washington DC. Working with Josh has helped me build my confidence in a totally new culture and has taught me to be my best.

How will you build upon the skills and knowledge gained during your Fellowship once you return to your home country? How will your experience in the United States help you pursue your goals in the future?

This fellowship has given me the exposure that I lacked previously. I had traveled around but never really worked in such a dynamic environment. I have met some amazing people from different parts of the world, learned about new cultures, and grown both my skill set and my knowledge. I will go back a much stronger, more learned person than I was when I got here. I have some goals in my head which I am eager to take on once I go back. Working at Halcyon has taught me to be humble even though you know you are doing great things, to be strong and bold, and to actually love what you do!

Fellow Supervisor: Joshua Mandell

At Atlas Corps, we have a tradition of stating our “Five Facts” when introducing ourselves to new people. What are your five facts?

Name: Joshua Mandell

Hometown: New York City

Role at Organization: Director, Policy & International Programs

Social Issue/Interest Area: Social enterprise

Fun fact: Rides his motorcycle for incredibly long distances

Why did you decide to host an Atlas Corps Fellow?

Halcyon recognizes the importance of attaining a diverse staff, providing new perspectives for how to best deliver on our impact-driven mission. Atlas Corps was the ideal partner, providing an outstanding opportunity for Halcyon and connecting us with a fellow who brought relevant expertise and professionalism to the team.

Why did you choose your Fellow?

Huma had the right level of professional experience, dedication to our mission, and personal attributes matching Halcyon’s values of being optimistic, nimble, risk tolerant, humble, and nurturing.

How has your Fellow contributed to your team? How has his or her presence had an impact on your team’s dynamic?

Huma has been a vital member of the Halcyon Incubator team and the broader Halcyon organization. She is a global citizen who has brought considerable knowledge from Pakistan and the region into the organization. She is proactive in providing ideas for improving Halcyon’s impact and has been an excellent ambassador for the organization since Day 1. We are so lucky to have her!

How will your Fellow’s contributions and insights impact your organization in the long run?

Given that Halcyon fellows come from all over the world, having staff from outside the United States adds value to our programming and impact.  Halcyon is a stronger organization due to our partnership with Atlas Corps.

What has your Fellow taught you? Have you learned anything special about their culture?

I have learned a lot about the culture of Pakistan, the region, and its similarities to/differences from the United States. Halcyon’s interest in expanding its model to other parts of the world has directly benefited from Huma’s experience in the region and her ideas on how we can most effectively engage their social entrepreneurs and social enterprise ecosystem, supporters.

Anything else you’d like to add about the experience of acting as an Atlas Corps Host Organization? Any questions you think we should add?

For someone with little knowledge of U.S. culture and Halcyon’s mission before her arrival, Huma hit the ground running and very quickly acclimated into Halcyon’s culture. Given our small size, Huma did what we all do, which is anything and everything to have the most impact possible for our fellows, sponsors, and network. She quickly made friends with the entire staff and earned their trust as a valuable contributor and team member. We are so lucky to have her!

Interested in becoming a Host Organization for an Atlas Corps Fellow? Fill out Host Interest Form.