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The 2014-2015 Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans Newsletter
is now available online!

Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans Class of 2015

The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans Class of 2015 application has closed. The schedule for applicants is as follows:

  • Finalists announced early January, 2015
  • Finalist Interviews: January 28-February 6, 2015
  • 2015 Paul & Daisy Soros Fellows announced early March, 2015
To keep up with the Fellowship and the application process, follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Announcing the Class of 2014
Paul & Daisy Soros New American Fellows

The Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans is proud to announce the 30 winners of its 2014 national competition. Selected from more than 1,200 applicants, each Fellow will receive tuition and stipend assistance of up to $90,000 in support of graduate education in this country. You can access their immigration and academic stories here.

Paul & Daisy Soros Program Awards $2.7 Million to Support Education for New Americans

Recipients include children of refugees, a national leader in immigration reform, and a veteran of the war in Afghanistan

FOR EMBARGOED RELEASE: Wednesday, April 30, 2014
CONTACT: Yulian Ramos, yramos@sorosny.org, 212-547-6926

NEW YORK - Thirty scholars, all of whom are immigrants or children of immigrants, will receive $90,000 grants each to pursue graduate studies at U.S. universities, the Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans announced today.

"These remarkable scholars are poised to make significant and lasting contributions to American life," said Dr. Craig Harwood, who directs the program and mentors fellows as their academic, professional, and artistic careers evolve. "The 2014 fellows underscore the remarkable diversity that New Americans represent. They include future leaders in science, medicine, music, documentary film, law, and politics."

This year's recipients include scholars whose families came to the U.S. in order to escape persecution. One young woman, earning her PhD in performance studies at Northwestern, has parents who were boat refugees during the Vietnam War. Another is a talented composer graduating from Juilliard whose family fled Russia to avoid religious persecution; he will be starting a PhD in music composition at Princeton.

Many of the fellows overcame great odds to pursue their education. They include a woman from the Philippines currently studying at UCLA Law School who, following her mother's death, raised her younger sister and cared for her ailing grandmother; and a woman from Mexico studying at NYU Law School who, after her father was arrested and deported, became a national leader in immigration reform and a community organizer.

Some of this year's recipients have already made significant contributions to society including a Lebanese-American who served three tours of duty in Afghanistan and will be starting Yale Law School in the fall and an artist who has donated eight million dollars to charity from the sale of his art and who will be pursuing his MBA. Another fellow, a Polish-American woman, will be pursuing her PhD in sociology after partnering with an Oscar Award-winning nonprofit production company on an upcoming documentary film about human trafficking, Selling Our Daughters.

The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellows were selected in a national competition that attracted over 1,200 applications. Selection criteria focus on accomplishments that show creativity, originality, and initiative in light of the challenges and opportunities that have been part of the applicant's immigration story.

The program is open to college seniors, students in the early stages of their graduate career, and those in the workforce who are seeking graduate training.


Reflections on an Inspired Choice for Surgeon General

Rajesh Vedanthan (PD Soros 1999) shares his thoughts as a friend and professional on Vivek Murthy (PD Soros 1998), member of the inaugural class of Paul and Daisy Soros Fellows

When I first met U.S. Surgeon General nominee Vivek Murthy 30 years ago, I realized at an early age that he was remarkable. His father and mine had been medical school classmates in India, and so our families used to meet on occasion during family vacations.

Throughout life, Vivek has inspired me and many others to achieve our dreams to serve others and improve the world. As a college student, he founded an organization that brought together youth and students to engage in community service projects in India. This inspired a group of us to start the Swasthya Community Health Partnership in south India, a program dedicated to women's empowerment and women's health.

During our residency at the Brigham and Women's Hospital, Vivek was my intern while I was a second-year Internal Medicine resident. I was once again impressed by this talented and innovative, yet humble young man. He impressed me with his deep concern and care for individual patients, while also maintaining a dedication to addressing the broader structural issues impacting the health and wellness of our society. Thus, when I learned that Vivek had been nominated for Surgeon General, I thought, "he's perfect." He has a broad and comprehensive understanding of public health and clinical medicine; he has an MBA degree and experience in starting a small business; he is an inspiration for youth and young professionals; and he is a responsible spokesperson for the American public health system.

Rajesh Vedanthan
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Cardiology and Health Evidence & Policy
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai