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 Cultural Vistas and their experience with Atlas Corps, and their Fellow, Abir Chermiti (Tunisia, Class 33).

Host Organization: Cultural Vistas

Cultural Vistas promotes global understanding and collaboration among individuals and institutions. The organization prepares young professionals from around the world both to adapt and to define the future of work through international exchange programs. Skills and competencies they gain through the wide range of programs include empathy, creativity, social intelligence, adaptability, entrepreneurial abilities, as well as the facility to navigate ambiguity and difference.


Fellow: Abir Chermiti (Tunisia, Class 33)

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

Name: Abir Chermiti

Hometown: Kairouan, Tunisia

Role at Organization: Software Engineer Fellow

Social Issue/Interest Area: Women in Tech empowerment

Fun fact: Missed a flight for a selfie.

What is your role at your Host Organization?

I joined Cultural Vistas as a Software Engineer Fellow. I’m responsible for developing, creating and modifying main software application and database. As part of the IT team, we support the different organization departments by maintaining the software, solving issues and implementing new programs/features.

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

Work at Cultural Vistas (CV) is a life-changing experience. I’m so fortunate to join the organization and their theme of the year was Diversity & Inclusion. The theme describes my whole experience in such a diverse and inclusive environment. Cultural Vistas is not only impacted my perspective but also impacts people lives -thousands of participants around the world- through the different exchange programs. I got to learn about these different programs during my fellowship and while working across different department (IT, Digital Marketing and Client Relations). This experience changes my perspective about what we do at small scale and together will make a global change.

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

To be humble, understanding and supportive, this is how I could describe my supervisor. She always makes sure that I’m having a good experience at Cultural Vistas by checking on me frequently and sharing the organizational goals and projects in order to highlight the opportunities that might be interesting for my professional development.

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?

My experience at Cultural Vistas helped me broaden my perspectives and have more understanding of what my future goals would look like. I build the professional network that inspired me and supported towards achieving more. It also motivates me to bring back what I learned and implement it in my home country in order to create change in my community.


Fellow Supervisor: Alison Steffen

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

Name: Alison Steffen

Hometown: Crestview Hills, KY

Role at Organization: Product Manager

Social Issue/Interest Area: International Exchange/ Global awareness

Fun fact: I have lived, worked or studied in four different countries on three different continents!

Why did you decide to host an Atlas Corps Fellow?

As an international exchange non-profit we are always striving for different opportunities to bring diverse talented members of staff from all over the world to our organization. Once we heard about Atlas Corps and the talented experienced global young professionals the fellowship sponsors we knew it’d be a great fit!

Why did you choose your Fellow?

We chose Abir because not only does she have the technical background and skills we wanted to advance our software development team but also years of volunteer experience and leadership. Most of all her optimistic and friendly personality shined through when we first met her and instantly we were looking forward to working with her!

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

Abir has led a group of developers to implement the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) into our online application process, which aims to create web content that is more accessible to people with disabilities. This project has helped us set a standard for the work that we do and ensure going forward we strive to be completely inclusive in how we develop and design our applications. Abir has not only been a great team contributor and leader but has made an everlasting impact on our team by sharing her experiences and unique insight into solving problems.

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

Abir’s contribution to leading the WCAG project and implementation is definitely one of these as mentioned in my previous answer. However more importantly her passion, commitment and excitement around involving women in tech/ STEM career is infectious and has led her to also support our Marketing and Events team in developing and designing their Women in Business Summit website.

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

Abir has taught me and the team so much over this past year, sharing everything about Tunisia, her cultural and IEEE! Tunisia is definitely on most our travel lists now if it wasn’t already, especially Sidi Bou Said!


More about Atlas Corps

Atlas Corps partners with mission-driven organizations (nonprofit, private, and government) to facilitate a professional exchange program for the world’s best emerging social change leaders to live and serve in the United States for a 12-month Fellowship. The Atlas Corps network currently includes more than 700 professionals from 94 countries who have served at 300 organizations.

Interested in becoming a Host Organization for an Atlas Corps Fellow? Contact Brittany Gropp at brittany@atlascorps.org.