Publication Date: April 4, 2014
Publication Location: WASHINGTON
Contact: Kathryn Schoenberger   |   [email protected]

World Learning awarded the second Advancing Leaders Fellowship to five young social innovators on April 3. The event, held at the Centre for Social Innovation, drew approximately 150 people and featured guest speaker Aaron Hurst, CEO of Imperative and founder of the Taproot Foundation.

“It is inspiring to see these leaders from so many countries recognized for their talents,” said World Learning President and CEO Donald Steinberg. “All of the participants represent the kind of social innovation and positive change that ensure a more peaceful, prosperous and inclusive global community.”

The Advancing Leaders Fellowship recognizes the ideas, talent, and vision of World Learning alumni by supporting fellows with an award of $10,000, comprehensive training in social innovation and leadership and a support network of mentors and peers so that they can implement an original social innovation project. Alumni of all World Learning programs are eligible to apply.

The 10 finalists pitched their project proposals to a panel of 12 judges, which was comprised of World Learning trustees, alumni and friends who are leaders in fields including social change, international development and corporate social responsibility. The judges named the fellowship winners at a reception following the pitch competition. They are:

  • Amira Ali Bouaouina — MALI (My Africa Learns To Inspire), Algeria
  • Thelma Boamah — JuniorCamp Internship Program, Ghana
  • Alicia Moore — A Battle Worth Fighting: Cultivating Military Veterans into Agricultural Warriors, United States
  • Gul Khan Naseer — Youth and Child Rights Clubs, Pakistan
  • Ntaryike Divine, Jr. — SCINC: A Science Policy Transformer, Cameroon

During his speech Hurst said he is inspired by the finalists’ efforts to improve their communities and the world. He also discussed the importance of social entrepreneurship and that many people now want jobs that help them grow as individuals and make a difference.

“There’s a real reason for hope,” Hurst said. “These finalists symbolize that.”

The Advancing Leaders Fellowship Pitch Competition and Reception was also one in a series of events celebrating the School for International Training’s 50th anniversary. Founded in 1964 by Gordon Boyce and Jack Wallace, SIT has transformed the lives of thousands of students through its undergraduate, graduate and professional development programs. As SIT Graduate Institute alumni Boamah and Moore are part of this 50-year-old tradition of passionate and talented individuals contending with the complexities of critical global issues and contributing to meaningful change throughout the world. An anniversary celebration for alumni, students, staff and faculty will take place in August 8–10, 2014 at SIT’s Brattleboro, Vt., campus.

Photo caption: The Advancing Leaders Fellowship finalists with World Learning Board Chair Rosamond Delori (center right). Photo by Matt Carr.